Drawing awareness: Animating cartoons with conscience

Published: June 11, 2011

Nazar sketches cartoons during the live documentary session organised at Kuch Khaas on Thursday. Photo: Muhammad Javaid

ISLAMABAD: 

Nigar Nazar, a leading female cartoonist of the Muslim world, shared her story and work with Islamabadis at Kuch Khaas on Thursday.

Most popularly known for her character Gogi, her animations have graced Pakistani television and print media since the 70s. She has used her cartoons as a means to entertain, disseminate social messages and promote education through work.

The animated ‘Urdu Qaida’, which she created, won the award for Best Education Tool in 2004.

After having represented Pakistan on various forums and judging cartoon competitions across the globe, Nazar was recently selected by The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan for their programme “Direct Access to the Muslim World”.

“You can be what you like and where you like in your fantasy world,” said Nazar. During her talk at Kuch Khaas, she spoke about various scripts from her comic columns and enlightened the audience about her community outreach programme.

Apart from writing awareness comics that highlight issues of corruption, terrorism and household issues, Gogi Studios has been delivering school bags with Gogi comics to under privileged children. “I want to create awareness,” the cartoonist said.

“Privileged children sponsor the under privileged children by purchasing a bag from us and providing children with the only coloured reading book they will probably ever own.”

Nazar’s animations of Gogi have appeared not only
on television and print media but have are also displayed in the form of murals in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences and District Headquarters Hospital’s Children Emergency Wards.

In 2004, 12 buses and two coasters were wrapped in cartoon graffiti to spread awareness about social issues. With a hint of humour and sense of creativity, Nazar is soon to start her very own cartoon workshops at Kuch Khaas.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2011.

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