LAHORE: An exhibition titled ‘Crossing Borders (An Exchange for Change Story)’ featuring letters, postcards, posters and video installations attracted a large number of people at the City Heritage Museum here on Friday.

The exhibition was organised by the Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) in collaboration with Routes2Roots (R2R), an Indian non-profit organisation working for peace and dialogue between Pakistan and India.

The exhibition was the culmination of 13-month project ‘Exchange for Change: Pakistan India 2013-2015’.

At least 5,000 students from 31 schools across Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Dehradun say they believe their stories across the two nations are the same and worth-sharing with the general public to dispel the misconception that prevails on both sides of the border.

To this end, the CAP is undertaking a series of three exhibitions in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad where students of the Exchange for Change project will share experiences and lessons learnt from the 18-month initiative.

The Lahore exhibition, inaugurated amid fanfare, was well-attended by students, members of faculty from participating academic institutes and esteemed members of the press.

Guests visited the exhibition and interacted with numerous audio-visual installations at the venue.

Visitors observed actual letters, postcards and posters which Pakistani and Indian students had created and shared with each other.

Guests also listened to actual accounts of students who shared stories of their experiences from the programme. The exhibition will continue till Feb 20 after which it will be held in Islamabad.

The exhibition featured letters, collages, postcards and oral histories that were exchanged as part of the programme.

It invited visitors to explore the friendships made and the adventures embarked upon by participants of the EFC 2013-2015 cycle.

The participating schools from India are The Doon School, Welham Girls School, Him Jyoti School, PYDS Learning Academy, Kasiga School, Doon International from Dehradun. Cathedral & John Connon Middle School, Bombay International School, Diamond Jubilee High School, Euro School, Shindewadi Mumbai Public School, Abhyudaya Nagar Public School, Global Mill Passage Municipal School from Mumbai. Delhi Public School, Bloom Public School and Dev Samaj School from Delhi.

The Exchange for Change (EFC) is an interactive initiative introduced by the CAP that works at improving relationships between school students of two countries.

This project is the first of its kind to exist between Pakistan and India and to-date there are no sustained cultural exchange programmes of this scale and nature between the two countries.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2015

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