“You Can Stop This At Any Time” is a unique live performance art installation, produced by Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) and Highlight Arts, that provides an unsettling and intimate experience to viewers by confronting them with a life-changing moral dilemma.
Featured at the 10th Karachi Literature Festival, the art installation can be found in the stall area at Beach Luxury Hotel from March 1-3.
Visitors can enter a small yellow box – one at a time – and sit face to face with an actor while an audio story plays out in the background. In between the two is a red button reminiscent of a stop sign, which the audience member can press at any point during the performance. Each performance lasts for less than five minutes.
Last year, JPP and Highlight Arts produced “No Time To Sleep”, a groundbreaking 24-hour livestream, in collaboration with Olomopolo Media and Zayer Films. The performance charted the final hours of a death row prisoner’s life in prison leading up to his execution. It received critical acclaim both domestically and internationally with 1.4 million views, 6,000 tweets and a hashtag that trended on Twitter for several hours throughout the performance.
Sarah Belal, JPP’s Executive Director, says, “The art installation is designed to give people an opportunity to choose between two conflicting options struggling with the moral choice of – if you know something, should you do something.”
Ryan Van Winkle of Highlight Arts, the concept artist of the piece, adds: “Following the success of No Time To Sleep, we wanted to do something different, something shorter, something only for an audience of one. I do hope people will also find this piece intimate, haunting and asking difficult questions.”
The installation is designed by Asma Zia of Cocoon Arts and Entertainment.
JPP and Highlight Arts have conducted several other successful campaigns in the past including Bus Kar Do, a bus tour from Lahore to Karachi highlighting how the death penalty in Pakistan targets the poorest and most vulnerable citizens; and Intezaar, an immersive theatre performance built upon real-life accounts from Pakistan’s death row.