Beyond innocence: ‘Roshni Tau Tum Bhi Hou’ marks silver lining in war against terrorism

Artists capture children who have been affected by terrorism

Work of eight artists went on display at the Nomad Art Gallery. PHOTOS: HAFSAH SARFRAZ


Photographers in the capital aim to portray a deeper idea than just the innocence of children across Pakistan tries to explain that terrorism is actually a war against ignorance of knowledge and unfortunately children are often the direct victims of this war.

An exhibition of photographs titled “Roshni Tau Tum Bhi Hou” by Abdul Waris Hameed, Aamir Shehzad, Amna Yaseen, Arshad Ghori, Ghazanfar Bhinder, Muhammad Saeed Rao, Umair Ghani and Zaheer Chaudhry went on display at Nomad Art Gallery on Saturday.

The exhibit featured dry powder, UV and foam board photographic prints showcasing the innocence and beauty of children across Pakistan as an ode to the martyrs of Army Public School and Bacha Khan University.

The photographs exhibited, also showed that children, as innocent as they are, have nothing to do with this terrorism and despite the threats, they continue to go to school regardless of whether that school is out in the open under the sky, without any facilities because they believe in their right to education. Certain photographs also showcased the thriving patriotism that these children portray.

Director Nomad Gallery Nageen Hyat told The Express Tribune that showcasing such an exhibit was important for Nomad not just because the issue is relevant and important but also because Nomad believes in using art for social change and saying no to violence.

“We should not forget what happened. This is to remember the lost souls and also to constantly remind us of the past so that it does not happen again. How soon after APS was Charsadda? The KP area needs to be taken very seriously to promote non violence,” she said.

Amna Yaseen, a visual artist and one of the photographers who exhibited her work told The Express Tribune that her photographs are taken in a nomad settlement near Lahore and in Kashmir. “I have tried to highlight the struggle of children to reach school. In Kashmir there are kids who walk two hours a day to attend school and their determination and struggle is often ignored. Through my photography, I wanted to give an ode to them”, she said.

Ghazandar Bhinder said that children showcase the utmost innocence by driving pleasure from the simplest things in life. “My camera’s battery died while photographing the child and so I handed my camera to him and used the other one to take a photograph and I could never imagine how happy holding a camera could make a child on the street. To me photography is about capturing a moment; a moment that did not exist before and cannot be replicated in the future,” he said.

Zaheer Chaudhry who captured took pictures of children in Kashmir said that “Children in rural areas are subjected to the highest risk while going to school and yet they do, even if their school does not have a roof or walls. These children are also shy and have apprehensions especially young girls and photographing them is a challenge in itself yet a beautiful experience,” he added.

The two day exhibition ended on Sunday, 3rd April 2016.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th,  2016.


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