The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP)

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CAP is dedicated to cultural and historic preservation, and to educate the community to foster an awareness of Pakistan’s history.
Last updated: December 2019

The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to cultural and historic preservation operating in Karachi and Lahore. It seeks to educate the community, foster an awarness of Pakistan's history, and instil pride in Pakistani citizens about their heritage.

Oral History Project (OHP)

The OHP lies at the heart of CAP. The OHP records recollections of the early days of Pakistan to provide an alternative perspective to official narratives found in historical literature. The stories emerging from the project, the secrets captured in old photographs, and the personal experiences of our nation’s rich and varied people provide inspiration for our exhibitions and events. The project also aims to archive and preserve various records such as letters, newspapers, refugee cards, official correspondences, and passports. Since its inception, CAP has digitised more than 63,000 photographs from private and public collections, and has collected over 1,800 oral histories. Our archive offers one of the most unique selections of photography and the only collection of oral histories in Pakistan.

Exchange for Change programme (EFC)

The EFC programme is, according to the organisation, 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. A sustained exchange of letters, postcards, photographs, artwork and videos encourages children to form their own opinions. EFC was first launched in 2010 in collaboration with Routes2Roots between Pakistan and India. In just three cycles, EFC has worked with over 12,000 students across eight cities in Pakistan and India including Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Dehradun, and Chandigarh. In 2014, EFC expanded to Kolkata in collaboration with PeaceWorks, an initiative of The Seagull Foundation for the Arts with 1,200 more students. EFC USA has connected a further 500 Pakistani and American students. CAP believes that such interactions can lead to a positive change and eliminate cultural misconceptions and inter-generational conflict.

School Outreach Tours

Launched in 2008, the School Outreach Tours (SOT) programme educates and inspires children from low-income neighbourhoods in Karachi. CAP's lesson plans exceed the perimeter of basic knowledge and information and focus on history, geography, science, English language, and more importantly, character building. Aside from motivating every child in the programme, we also emphasise on community-building, critical thinking, and gender equality through research, role-play, and the use of film, photography and other interactive forms. With visual aids and innovative teaching methods, we have designed various projects and activities to encourage creativity and confidence among students.

College Outreach Tours

Launched in 2012, the College Outreach Tours (COT) educates first and second year college students in Karachi. COT utilises materials from CAP's archive to develop workshops based on civic sense, tolerance, democracy, and constitutional rights. The workshops are designed to invoke critical thinking as well as an understanding of the country's history and heritage. The programme is bilingual and includes research-based interactive activities designed to inculcate a broader vision of Pakistan.

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