Pakistani rock musician, Hamza Jafri, travels in an armed vehicle. The musician is famous for his hard-hitting political lyrics since the 1990s.

Since then, religious fundamentalism has been on the rise with shops selling music torched, concerts bombed, and musicians receiving death threats.

Seeing the shrinking space for music and artists, Hamza opened a music school in Karachi.

Lyari Notes is the story of four young girls who attend Hamza Jafri's music school and learn what it takes to express themselves through music despite the cycles of violence in Karachi's most volatile district.


By Miriam Chandy and Maheen Zia 

Lyari Notes is a poignant and timeless journey of self-expression unfolding at a defining point in Pakistan's history and at a time when extremist attacks on expression dominate world headlines.

Lyari Notes was one of the 16 projects selected for the IDF Academy Summer School 2013.

This was the first time that we, Maheen and Miriam, met in person in Amsterdam even though we had been working on the concept of the film together over internet, Skype and every new technology that helped us overcome a border that separates our two countries - India and Pakistan.

What kept us going was the belief that this film is about music that transcends boundaries creating a new and refreshing dialogue. Maheen filmed in Karachi and Miriam edited reams of rushes in Mumbai.

At the Summer School we found a mentor and kindred spirit in Likka Vehkalahti who helped us find a common direction in the film project and who continued to guide us from Finland. Pakistan Music: Lyari Notes is a project about melting boundaries in spirit as well as how the film is being made.

The events that have unfolded over the past year - brutal attacks in Pakistan, France and Denmark - have a resonance with the film and we believe Pakistan Music: Lyari Notes is an important film that addresses these attacks on expression and on liberalism through very personal journeys.

As the world remembers the anniversary of the school attacks in Peshawar, this film documents and tries to understand the violence through the eyes of children.

In Pakistan a rock star teaches a group of girls to express themselves through music [Al Jazeera]


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Source: Al Jazeera