All that Perishes at the Edge of Land

All that Perishes at the Edge of Land depicts the grandeur and sadness of the Gadani ship-breaking yard, the third largest such site in the world, located about forty kilometres from Karachi, in Pakistan. There, at the shoreline, migrant laborers dismantle the bulk carrier vessel Ocean Master, exposing themselves to perilous conditions and health risks. To craft a portrait of this workplace, where notions of disposability and exhaustion predominate, Hira Nabi interweaves ochre-hued images of the littoral zone with two forms of voiceover: the male labourers’ testimonies concerning their own lives and a female narrator who personifies the mammoth ship that towers over them. At the intersection of documentary recording and speculative fabulation, Nabi crafts a portrait of remaindered bodies, human and non-human.

Hira Nabi was born in 1987 in Lahore where she lives and works as an artist and filmmaker who works with images and text to tell stories of the everyday. Her practice is concerned with the environment, the often unseen and a slow process of re-earthing by which she intends to shift focus away from anthropocentric stories into a more interconnected and larger witnessing of the times we live in. Her work has been shown in a number of group exhibitions including Colomboscope, 2019, Sri Lanka and Lahore Biennale, 2018. Other venues she has shown in include: SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin; Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin; Ashkal Alwan, Beirut; Johann Jacobs Museum, Zurich; Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi; Extra City, Antwerp; MIT School of Architecture and Planning, Cambridge, MA; Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH and the New School, New York. She has shown at film festivals including CPH:DOX, Copenhagen; Sundance, Park City, UT; AFI DOCS, Washington, D.C.; Rencontres Internationales, Paris/Berlin and Dokufest, Prizren, Kosovo among others. She was awarded the 2020 Next Generation Prince Claus Award and nominated for the 2021 IDA Short Documentary Award and 2020 Han Nefkens Foundation Award.