Monday December 06, 2021

Art festival held to promote harmony, diversity, inclusion, community spirit

October 17, 2021

The Centre for Arts-based Methodologies & Wellbeing (CFAW) held a festival titled ‘Pyaar ki Baatein: Library of Peace’ recently at the St. Francis High School near the Old Haji Camp.

The Library of Peace is a collective art project by the centre, which is an initiative of the Precision Health Consultants (PHC) Global, in collaboration with Hive Pakistan and Simurg Fund.

The project entailed art workshops with diverse groups of in- and out-of-school children aged between five and 15 years. The children in this age group create small books known as zines related to the topics of peace-building, harmony, diversity, inclusion and community spirit.

Hive is a first-of-its-kind space in Pakistan that is dedicated to training, research, resource development and social innovation to counter extremism and work towards an inclusive peaceful society.

PHC Global works towards enabling collaborators and clients to facilitate the well-being of people, communities and the environment through a system of approach, evidence-based research, technology and innovative practices.

“The project included over 300 children and 10 locations in Karachi, coming together to contemplate a peaceful society, one that has space for all kinds of people to celebrate their commonalities and share their differences, so that all can grow and live their lives in a harmonious inclusion of others,” explained CFAW Director Habib Afsar.

This collection of unedited zines made by the children themselves came together in ‘Pyaar ki Baatein: Library of Peace’ that was hosted by the St. Francis High School.

The festival displayed the zines created by the children, and included peace talks by Father Younus of the St. Francis Parish, and opening remarks by PHC Global directors and community partners, followed by performances by students of different communities, including Dandiya Raas, Aman Ka Tarana and Khushal Pakistan.

Afsar said that the CFAW works on the application of arts-based methodologies in initiatives that benefit the well-being of individuals, communities, organisations and the environment.

“We develop and conduct tailored interventions that foster creativity, self-discovery, empathy and innovation in diverse settings and sectors. We facilitate learning programmes, workshops, retreats and community-based interventions,” he added.

Tauseef Memorial School Coordinator Sabeehul Hassan said that he saw how through arts, the CFAW had helped the children express their emotions with the message of inter-faith peace that was made so easy for them to understand.

He hoped for more such events to be organised. Hassan was one of the community partners. Children from the Tauseef Memorial School also participated in the zine-making workshops and performed at the festival as well.