In 2010, in what has become an increasingly familiar horror, the South Punjab province of Pakistan was devastated by floods. Two years later, in 2012, the floods returned, destroying many of the villages a second time. In 2010, Hydr Ibrahim, a young Pakistani architect and his colleagues went to Kurai and other villages in the Seraiki district to see how they could help. “Shelter,” he said “was by far the most pressing need and, as architects, we knew how to build houses.” And so Resettling the Indus was born. Today, the RTI project is ongoing, gaining momentum, focused beyond rebuilding what was destroyed to establishing a resilient, self-sustaining economy without jeopardizing indigenous culture.
My friends, Shireen Pasha, filmmaker and her crew, and Rashida Raza, cinematographer, traveled to this region to document with film the destruction and and the renewal. What we heard was a remarkable story of phoenix rising from the ashes. I have finally understood the meaning of the word ‘resilience’.
We left Lahore for a three-day shoot in Korei and surrounding villages. Over the next week or two I will be posting details of what we heard and saw. First though, photos of our travel south on the Grand Trunk Road. They include our crew and transportation, a slaughterhouse at located at a truck stop, a graveyard and a wandering minstrel. Future photos will be more beautiful and uplifting!