The Citizens Archive of Pakistan

ORGANIZATION : The Citizens Archive of Pakistan
CONTACT PERSON: Swaleha Alam Shahzada
COUNTRY : Pakistan

The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to cultural and historic preservation of the tradition of oral storytelling in Pakistan.

CAP has four major projects: the Oral History Project, Exchange for Change, School Outreach Tours and College Outreach Tours. It also organises various exhibitions and events.

The Oral History Project records recollections of the early days of Pakistan to provide an alternative perspective to official narratives found in historical literature. It archives stories, old photographs, and the personal experiences of the nation’s rich and varied people. The project also aims to archive and preserve various records such as letters, newspapers, refugee cards, official correspondences, and passports. Since its inception in 2007, CAP has digitised more than 63,000 images from private and public collections, and has collected over 1,800 oral histories. The archive offers one of the most unique selections of photography and the only collection of oral histories in Pakistan.

Exchange for Change (EFC) is the largest student oral history exchange programme in the world and the largest Track-2 diplomacy effort between Pakistan and India. The programme aims to improve relationships between students in South Asia, and seeks to help students across borders realise that dialogue is both possible and sustainable. Launched in 2010, so far it has worked with more than 13,000 students across nine cities in Pakistan and India.

Launched in 2008, the School Outreach Tours (SOT) programme educates and inspires children from low-income neighbourhoods in Karachi. With visual aids and innovative teaching methods, CAP has designed various projects and activities to encourage creativity and confidence among students.

Launched in 2012, the College Outreach Tours (COT) uses CAP’s archival material to educate first and second year college students in Karachi.

CAP has also organised various free and bilingual multimedia exhibitions to bring history into the public sphere.

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