Boxout In Transit: Pakistan Edition

boxout.fm may have launched under a year ago, but it feels like India’s first-ever independent
online community radio station has been around for much longer. Through various initiatives
(boxoutwednesdays, boxoutsessions, theplug.news) outside of the radio station, they’re
challenging the idea of what they truly are and can be; this could not be truer with their boundary-pushing initiative ‘Boxout in Transit’.

The first Boxout in Transit took place in May last year. A collaboration with Jambutek Recordings, the live stream was set in Colombo, Sri Lanka and featured some of the country’s finest producers and DJs: Dinelka, Asvajit, Sunara and Nigel Perera. This time around, boxout.fm is heading over to Pakistan.

Working with Karachi-based collective and forward-thinking record label Forever South Music, the 6-hour streaming session takes place on Thursday 1 March and features Pakistani artists
Tollcrane, TMPST, Stupid Happiness Theory, MU, al ak and Rudoh.

Forever South Music is, arguably, one of the best labels in the sub-continent – up there alongside Bangalore-based collective Consolidate and Sri Lankan label Jambutek Recordings; boxout.fm have already collaborated with the two on a few occasions.

Founded by DJ and producer Dynoman (aka Haamid Rahim) and Bilal Nasir Khan (Rudoh) in
2012, Forever South have been creating some of the more exciting music in the alternative
Pakistani electronic music space. Since their inception, they’ve truly put electronic music from
Pakistan on the map with artists such as Slowspin and NAWKSH gaining international recognition; Rudoh and TMPST (Asfandyar Khan) playing Magnetic Fields Festival in India; and Abdullah Siddiqui re-defining people’s idea of pop.

Image: Tollcrane

This episode of Boxout in Transit feels arguably more important because of the general
complications that come with Pakistani individuals visiting India (daily police checks, restricted
travel, a lengthy process to obtain a visa); and vice versa. Live streaming an entire event from
Karachi, a six-hour showcase with some of the best talent the country possesses is no easy feat.
But it helps break down the imaginary boundaries currently in place by governments who see no end to the hostility that’s enveloped the region since 1947.

“Boxout In Transit was envisioned as a series that would showcase music outside of India to our
primary listening audience,” explained Abhi Meer, chief content officer of boxout.fm. “Last year in May, we had the opportunity to host a number of DJs from Colombo on the radio, and we’re lucky to have a special from Karachi this early on in 2018.”

The relationship between India and Pakistan is weighted with history and cultural strife. Since 1947 there have been 3 wars over the disputed Kashmir region and both countries are perennially at each other’s throats. And with both countries at peak hyper-nationalism, art and cultural exchange between the lands is being lost.

The internet, and as a result, boxout.fm and Forever South Music are attempting to break down
these invisible barriers. Cultural exchange is a crucial factor in diffusing inter-state political tension and conflict; to finding solutions to the problems. Though we don’t expect significant change after this live-stream, it’s another great step in the right direction.

“There’s so much great music within the subcontinent that rarely gets the acknowledgement it so rightfully deserves, and if we can play some part in making sure it does, we’re quite content to do that,” added Meer.

If anything, this recently announced version of Boxout in Transit showcases how it’s their most boundary-pushing initiative, the one that seems to speak volumes of how they’re following through on their vision of creating a community across borders, countries and divided lines in the sub-continent.

Tune in to boxout.fm on Thursday, 1 March from 5.30pm PKT or 6pm IST for a 6-hour streaming session.

Written by: Dhruva Balram

NEWS - 28. February 2018   CITY - Karachi

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