Karachi, Pakistan’s troubled heart, is known to cast a seductive spell over residents and visitors alike. In Karachi Vice, the award-winning journalist Samira Shackle writes that the city’s penchant for extremity and eccentricity kept luring her back from London for almost a decade. During these visits, made between 2012 and 2019, she navigates the darkest corners of the metropolis’s maze and documents some of the lives that exist on the peripheries of society.
In a city where violence is constantly simmering beneath the surface and lines between law enforcement and crime are blurred, locals develop their own mechanisms for coping with trauma. For instance, Safdar, an ambulance driver who survived a suicide bombing at a religious procession and a gun battle at the airport, continues to go about his business despite the risks.