Karachi Marketplace


Partially demolished 2018

The Disappointed Tourist: Karachi Marketplace, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

The Karachi Empress Market (Urdu: ایمپریس مارکیٹ‎, Sindhi: ايمپريس مارڪيٽ) is a marketplace situated in the Saddar Town neighborhood. It was constructed between 1884 and 1889 and was named in honor of Queen Victoria, then Empress of India. In 2018, following an order by the Supreme Court, over 1,000 small illegally constructed shops in the market, many of which had been there for over 50 years, were demolished. I don’t know the source of the photograph on which this painting is based.

I suggested this site because it had personal meaning for me and because all of these demolitions stripped the location of part of its story and its soul. Lilly W.