The key to creativity is to find the kind of art education that will help foster young minds to think in innovative ways. And, the essence of art is expressing oneself. When children are very young, they may start making marks on walls and other places parents don’t appreciate. Early art education helps them learn to make their mark on the world in ways that people will actually appreciate. This way a child realises their potential to create an impact in the world. The Little Art (TLA) is a non -profit organisation working for promoting arts education and providing creative learning opportunities to children and young people in Pakistan.
Recently, it launched a new platform called ‘Equally Loud’; which will enable young minds from marginalised societies to express and share their experiences through creative mediums.
The new platform was launched with an evening of open discussion with creative minds showcasing thought provoking films made by children and youth with an aim to be equally loud. The event was attended by participants belonging to professional media, arts and educational backgrounds along with principals and teachers from each school. Also in attendance were the children and youth whose film was screened along with their parents.
The evening commenced with a welcome note, followed by a panel discussion on the screening of films made by children and youth.
A product of the Lahore International Children Film Festival (LICFF) calendar workshops, ‘Equally Loud’ aims to transform the narrative of Pakistani women and girls from a purely rights-based discussion to a more personal and impactful dialogue. For this, TLA has conducted filmmaking workshops which are designed to explore gender experiences of children as well as equip them with basic filmmaking skills. The workshops are being held in 10 schools in Lahore and Faisalabad. 4 Trust School campuses, 2 Garrison schools and Dreamland Public School in Lahore and Umul Madaris Model School, Dar-e-Arqam, and St. Catherine’s Girls High School in Faisalabad were also part of the workshops.
A total number of 340 children, boys and girls, took part in the workshops. The children are divided into groups of four, and each group produces a short film inspired by stories shared during the workshop. Some of the themes of films include breaking gender stereotypes, gender equality, issues of transport and access, body shaming, and equal opportunities.
These workshops are conducted by filmmakers and trainers Ammar Aziz, Fazal Ahmad, Abdul Basit and trainers and gender specialist Nida Mushtaq and Sehyr Mirza.
At the event, the panel discussion included Asghar Nadeem Syed - Pakistani play & drama writer, Muneeza Hashmi - Director Lahore Arts Council, Sohail Warraich - Women Rights’ Activist, Member of the National Commission on the Status of Women and Co-ordinate Commission’s Committee on Law and Policy, Iftikhar Mubarak - Executive Director Children Advocacy Network Pakistan and Sajida Vandal - Vice Chancellor Institute of Arts and Culture (IAC). The discussion was moderated by Founder & Director TLA Shoaib Iqbal.
Panellist Muneeza Hashmi enthused, “This has started a great debate as usually these topics are seldom discussed or are left unaddressed. In such cases, continuity is the key and I would urge the team to take this even further ahead.”
— You! desk