KARACHI: Taking inspiration from a variety of great artists such as Picasso and Da Vinci, different artistic voices were present at T2F on Thursday where students from SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School and Khatoon-i-Pakistan Government Girls School showcased their artistic talent.
Both government schools are being managed by Zindagi Trust, which is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation that strives to improve the quality of education available to the average Pakistani.
According to Sana Kazmi, manager special programmes at Zindagi Trust, “we have introduced a progressive art programme that is designed for students to be creative and empower them to adopt art as a tool of self-expression so they interact with the world outside their classroom. The schools teach art as a weekly subject to all students and cover diverse techniques, mediums and also art history.”
Kazmi also explained how the pilot project had yielded interesting results. “Over time we observed that enrolment rates increased and so did attendance with a renewed interest in art among the students. The curriculum we designed focused on art taught in an interesting way which got the attention of the children. This programme thus can be easily replicated in other government schools.”
At one side of the exhibition was a section for word design which displayed work by students that artistically incorporated different words into their paintings. Picasso’s work inspired another section in the form of a collage. Students were present who were tasked to give visitors a background about the project as well as what they learnt in art classes at school.
Laiba was busy keeping watch over the section where the different Pakistani cultures were expressed through the mysterious painting of the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa was dressed in different local dress, jewellery and makeup.
Some paintings explored impressionism while a section was devoted to aboriginal art. The symbols and techniques of aboriginal art were explored while some paintings were narrating stories through modern aboriginal art.
Head of the art programme at Zindagi Trust Anam Shakil spoke to Dawn about battling the stigma of children pursuing art in school. She is responsible for training art teachers in both schools and spoke about how they started the programme for arts a few years ago. “We aim to give proper education and understanding of art. According to research, an interest in art can have a positive impact on the child’s academic performance. We train the government teachers and provide them with a curriculum that helps them to teach art to children. In this way they are also exposed to different cultures and perspectives about the world.”
Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2018