Alyze Aftab is an art enthusiast and also educates people about the transgender community in Pakistan. She recently held an exhibition of her art work in Lahore to highlight how important transgender community is to our society.
This exhibition is an attempt to change the narrative and make the society inclusive. The funds raised at the exhibition were given to Actcept – a social initiative that works to empower transgender people in Pakistan.
Alyze also started an initiative, Making difference through Art (MDA). As part of this initiative, she teaches art to kids at a local church, and her friends help her.
She teaches painting, sketching and tells them about different artists to inspire them.
Us talked to Alyze to learn more about her work …
Tell us about yourself
I’m currently studying A-levels and applying to universities. I want to major in economics or finance and marketing. After that, I want to study law.
Art will always be my hobby and a way to express myself. Other than painting, I enjoy meditating and baking. I really enjoy tennis, and although I am not very good at it, I want to become better at it. I also hope to travel a lot in the future.
What is the mission of MDA?
The mission of MDA is to unleash creativity in kids coming from underprivileged background because they are often discouraged to pursue art activities. I hope to teach valuable skills to the kids, and also want to provide a safe space to kids where they can express themselves and have fun.
What inspired you to start teaching art?
I started painting when I was 11 years old because I was bedridden for almost a year due to a horse riding accident, and painting helped me deal with my emotions.
I found art to be a great way to express myself and I wanted to share that with others. I think having a hobby is very important to lead a happy life, and for the kids I teach, art will always be a form of therapy.
How else have you used art to make a difference in the community?
I have held exhibitions for my paintings to raise awareness on topics I feel passionate about. One of my exhibitions was held to raise money for SOS Village; I painted portraits of underprivileged children and empowered women to showcase the importance of education, especially for girls.
My other exhibition was to raise funds for Actcept which is an organization that advocates for transgender people in Pakistan. I painted abstract portraits of transgender women whom I interviewed to not only show their beauty but their personality, too.
Alyze posts about MDA on her Instagram page @mda_ofcl