A child rights’ art festival that aims to promote principals and ideals of democracy, equality, civil rights, community, higher education, sustaining cultural heritage, religious and cultural tolerance started here on Saturday.
Originally published as: Children rights festival: Children wow audience with art
Author: Mavra Bari
The event, “EU National Child Right Arts Festival”, was organised in collaboration with The Little Art non-profit organisation.
Two thousand pieces of art were submitted by 32 schools from Islamabad and Lahore from which 140 pieces were exhibited. The works were both haunting and aptly depicted the current situation of child rights in Pakistan.
City School’s Abdullah Rasheed, an eight-year-old boy, depicted a car ride from his perspective. The piece shows mountains on one side and on the other a child playing in the passenger seat; the road shows a donkey cart with a police barrier blocking off a section of the road. What may seem surprising about the piece is the maturity and abstraction in the piece, along with the depth of subject he’s covered — security issues and the vast disparity between classes incorporated from his own personal experience.
Beaconhouse’s Huda Nadeem, a twelve-year-old girl, exhibited a similar capacity to artistically represent her ideas. Her oil painting shows a rural landscape with parents and children depicted as puppets; two people are depicted as spectators. The subtext seems to be that money controls parents and the parents control their children. Today’s pervasive voyeurism is also depicted.
Noor Afshan, a twelve-year-old also from Beaconhouse, took on the issue of gender roles by depicting a mother and daughter cooking together, while fathers and sons join hands to make a chair and mow the lawn. Meanwhile, Maha Ayaz, a nine-year-old girl, shared a disturbing painting showing a bomb blast with ambulances all around and people run amok in horror.
Other paintings and drawings discussed issues of child labour, child rights, education, poverty and sexual harassment. The dengue epidemic and floods were other areas of focus; Hafsa Mehmood, a 16-year-old girl, depicted the flood-affected regions.
ASAS International School produced and performed a production titled “Butterfly: The Metamorphosis.” The play focused on the atrocities subjected upon children and analogised a child to the delicate and pristine butterfly. Elucidating the theme of child abuse in various forms, it covered street beggary, discrimination between boys and girls, the failure to instil confidence in children through education, sexual abuse arising at the hands of maids and servants, bullying faced by children and child trafficking.
Atifa, an organiser, said, “This event has been arranged to expose people to children’s issues and also their brilliant artwork and performances, which can only take place if more people attend.”