Mohammad Fahim Shad is a Counter Violence Extremism (CVE) activist, documentary film-maker. He is founder of Mehrdar Art and Production (MAP), a Karachi based film production house established in 2012. With MAP, specializing in positive reassurance and socially motivated content, Shad is committed to highlight the voices of Marginalized communities through producing content that break boundaries and challenges audiences.
MAP provides free workshops on journalism & documentary film making for deserving students and is envisioned to participate in all those social actions which are designed to produce more and more community journalist, social activist and filmmakers, who would be able to give the society what is rightfully be given to counter violence extremism. The organization is focused on innovative concepts with a technical approach to work towards an inclusive, and peaceful society,
Born in Lyari, Shad observed Lyari very closely. He found out the major problems with the residents of Lyari, lack of awareness about journalism and fear to speak up in a civilized way which is merely plausible through journalism.
“As far as my observation is concerned, there is not a single Journalism academy nor is it being taught in any college or university in Lyari. Due to the absence of this academia, local newspapers are making the most of it and distorting Lyari’s perception across the country which is untrue image,” he explains.
Shad then decided to work on journalism. In 2013, he initiated a school, Lyari Film and Photography School, where he provided a platform to learn film production activities. The program was aimed at reducing the susceptibility of participating youth and their families to VE recruitment. The school helping occupy a significant amount of otherwise idle time of the beneficiaries and provided skills and opportunities for licit activities and employment. The LFPS engaged almost 300 beneficiaries from overall UCs of Lyari. The LFPS also engaged local filmmakers and photographers to conduct classes and invite experts for mentoring sessions.
In 2016, he initiated HAALHAWAL, a 6-months community journalism program in collaboration with Karachi Youth Initiative, This Program aspired increased opportunities and incentives to engage young and creative people from Lyari for social benefit and benign behaviors. In this project, participants got the opportunity to learn about photojournalism, Story Writing, photography skills, photo editing and other post-production activities.
In 2017, he started HAALHAWAL web series. This was an initiative of Mehrdar Art Production’s entitling “Haalhawal with Umair Razzaq” and the web show was designed to encounter mainstream media narrative about Lyari. After the Rangers-led operation in Lyari, peace established in the town and the vacuum occupied by the youth working to sustain the peace and make it durable. Noticeably, in those years the mainstream media had continuously shown Lyari as crime-infested area. But the fact was contrary.
To encounter the negative narrative of the media, the web series has begun. So far seven shows have been aired.
Recently, Shad is engaged with Azme Naujawan. His organization Mehrdar Art and Production and other civil society organizations are working towards forging a network of youth committed to addressing issues that concern them through meaningful engagement at the grassroots level.