Peace, equality for women: Making a difference through creativity

Women rights activists come together to promote awareness against gender violence.

Express December 07, 2011


The message of peace can only be spread through peaceful means. Instead of chanting hateful slogans, a group of artists came together to promote this agenda through poetry, music and art in an inspiring showcase.

Keeping up with the trend elsewhere in the world, women rights activists are observing 16 days of activism against gender violence to raise awareness on the subject. To this end, an exhibition showcasing poetry and art was held at Nomad gallery, in collaboration with UNWOMEN on Wednesday.

The event began with the signing of a peace mural by visitors and artists. The mural, a large empty canvas, became a colourful graffiti portraying views and expectations of people wanting harmony, peace and equality for women.

Aspiring young poets Tayyaba and Sundas recited their own poetry, based on societal confusion among the youth and the need for peace. Select verses by the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz were also recited. A local artist Ahmed Habib also recited some poetry from his new book. Following the recital, an educating documentary “Shanaakht - Mein Houn Zindagi” was shown.

The documentary has been compiled by Nomad Gallery Director Nageen Hyatt with help from Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV).  Screened locally and internationally, the documentary aims to highlight and sensitise viewers on working women’s issues and challenges in the country. The screening was the 13th episode, which focused on women as poets and writers.

The documentary consisted of perspectives on artists on the roles that women play in the fields of writing; many were of the view that women are more instinctive and sensitive in their writing as their intuition as mothers, plays a big role in their professions. An interview with a well known poet and script writer, Attiya Dawood was also showcased. Famous for her riveting feminism-oriented dramas, Attiya said that she did not consider herself a feminist writer till very late.

“Every time I witnessed injustice towards women, I just had to pen it down, it’s as if I was drawn towards it,” said the writer.

The gallery launched their yearly calendar depicting works of many artists keeping in line with the theme of activism against gender violence. The work of other artists, whose efforts  have previously been exhibtied in relation to peace and women, was also showcased.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2011.


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