By Asma Kundi
In a unique initiative aimed at promoting peace, inclusivity and social cohesion, the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and the Women Journalist Association of Pakistan collaborated with PeaceFlix to organize a one-day painting exhibition called ‘Uks-e-Aman’ on Thursday.
The project, which is a part of the PeaceFlix initiative by Global Neighborhood for Media Innovation (GNMI), was designed to create discourse around women’s role in peace-building in Pakistan and globally.
Female journalists from different parts of Pakistan who have covered war, conflict and violence in their line of work shared their experiences with students from various art institutions, including the Fatima Jinnah University Rawalpindi, Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, and Islamabad Model College for Girls Korang Town, who then painted the stories on canvas.
A total of 17 art students participated in the project and produced 16 paintings and a 3-D project to represent the stories highlighting the need and ways for peace in society.
The exhibition was attended by PNCA Director General Ayoub Jamali, who emphasized the role of transparency and shared inner experiences in building trust, which forms the basis of peace. He added that the PNCA has been supportive of promoting exhibitions and the best modern and contemporary art nationally and internationally.
One of the paintings that caught visitors’ attention was ‘Carving Fate,’ created by Roshan Bakht, which represents the story of a street boy named Noman Khan from Peshawar, who worked as a servant while he joined a free art academy and successfully made his art career.
The story was covered by journalist Fatima Nazish. Bakht said that the painting depicts the harsh reality of struggling young artists but ends on a beautiful, successful path.
Assistant Professor Sadaf Hammad, from the Islamabad Model College for Girls Korang Town, said that the exhibition was the first of its kind and engaged students to create interesting artwork based on case studies by women journalists.
Asma Bashir Kundi, the workshop organizer on behalf of Peace Flix, thanked the participants and said that all the students worked with great passion, and the outcome was remarkable.
The founder of the Women Journalists Association of Pakistan, Fozia Kulsoom Rana, said that the idea to present the stories of women journalists on canvas with vibrant colours was unique and that the way art students adapted the stories into art was unimaginable. The exhibition was a success, and it is hoped that such initiatives will continue to foster a culture of peace and inclusivity in Pakistan.