Sadia Khatri is a Pakistani writer, photographer, and feminist based in Karachi. She has worked as a journalist at Dawn and The Kathmandu Post, and as a reportage editor with Papercuts Magazine. Khatri is also one of the founders of the feminist collective Girls at Dhabas.
Early life and education
Sadia Khatri graduated from Mount Holyoke College. She began as an Astronomy and Physics major and later added Journalism and Media Studies.
Before coming to the United States, Khatri pursued photography as a hobby. Her interest in art and photography stems from her adventures in Karachi’s art and culture scene. She often attended concerts, literary lectures and community art shows with her sister, Fiza Khatri, who also attended Mount Holyoke College.
In 2011, Khatri took photographs of children who spend most of their time living by the roadside in commercial areas of Karachi. These photographs were displayed in an exhibit in Karachi. Underneath each photograph, there was a quote from the corresponding street child to convey their perspective on life through their own words.
Similar to the US blog "Humans of New York," Khatri blogged on the theme of "Humans of Pioneer Valley" during her college graduation period in the US.
Career and activism
In her autobiographical essay "Fear and the City," which received received a special citation in the recently announced Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women, Khatri narrates her liberation through travel and struggle reclaiming public spaces in her hometown of Karachi, She ends her essay with her experience of a recent hate assault.
Khatri is one of the founders of the feminist collective Girls at Dhabas. Her social activism has helped South Asian women in general and Pakistani women in particular to reclaim public spaces for women. The collective was born out of the daily frustrations of middle- and upper-class women experience who are forced to stay in safe locations and cannot go out alone without good reason. This led Khatri to think about the violence she had experienced at home, in private spaces, which was far greater than anything she had been subjected to on the streets. It made her see how safety was just an argument used to reinforce the private/public binary and to police the bodies and sexuality of women.