Youth explore water, environment challenges in artworks

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5th Pakistan Mountain Festival begins with art exhibit by young students

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Islamabad – An exhibition of around 135 paintings by the youth from local colleges and universities opened here on Tuesday, December 8 at the Ibex Club, Lake View Park.

Students have explored various themes based on climate change through the arts to create a platform for education and dialogue. A large number of students, environmentalists, art lovers and city officials attended the opening ceremony.

The weeklong exhibition is part of the 5th Pakistan Mountain Festival (PMF) – an annual event by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) to commemorate International Mountain Day (IMD). The thematic exhibition depicts mountain environment, water, biodiversity and life in the highlands of Pakistan. The exhibition will continue till Sunday.

Syed Mustafain Kazmi, the CDA Member Environment, was the chief guest on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, he termed the exhibition a great effort on the part of the students to reflect the landscape, environment, water and wildlife. Engaging youth into creative pursuits and outdoor activities in the mountain help youth to remain fit.

He also appreciated Devcom-Pakistan for consistently promoting mountain beauty as well challenges. “We all need to take of mountain environment that is being exploited by the people for their vested interests. We need to tackle them with more stringent measures.”

Art exhibition as part of the 5th Pakistan Mountain Festival in Islamabad
Art exhibition as part of the 5th Pakistan Mountain Festival

Munir Ahmed, the Festival Director and Executive Director of the Development Communications network (Devcom-Pakistan), said, “Most of the natural resources are diminishing due to undue human intervention in the high mountains by the cartels and mafia, indiscriminate tree cutting causing landslides and loss of natural habitat and water resources. The climate change has devastated the natural resources and is a constant danger to the land, property and life of the locals. Through art, we try to engage youth to know the harsh realities and depict the challenges in their art for others to know as well. This way we educate youth to reduce carbon emissions and promote eco-tourism.”

“The painting exhibition provide us opportunities to express our creativity and also educate youth on the challenges being faced by our environment and mountain” One of the participants of the art exhibit, Urooj Kazmi said.

Sundas Azhar, a student of the Fatima Jinnah University, said thematic art could play an important role in educating masses about the beauty and grandeur of our high mountains. “Such events and opportunities offer kids a chance to learn about climate change issues and challenges, depict them in their artworks for the general public and also take practical action on their own.”

Riffat Ara Baig, the coordinator of the painting competition and curator of the exhibition, said: “The students have rich observation about the mountain environment, and their creative flair has produced good imagery of the mountain. “These paintings are simply adorable and serve the objectivity of the theme. A jury of well-known artists will examine the artwork and the winners of three categories will be awarded prizes while all the participants will get certificate of participation.”

Esam Khattak, the CEO of the Ibex Club, said “Pakistan Mountain Festival activities are similar to the ones that we are promoting for the last five years. The urban communities especially youth need to be trained and engaged in mountain environment initiative such as wall and rock climbing. We are all out to support and partner with educational institutions.”

International Mountain Day 2015 provides an occasion to highlight how mountain communities are protecting biodiversity by producing a large variety of typical products and providing crucial goods and services to all of us. Promotion of Mountain Products is the theme chosen for this year’s celebration of International Mountain Day.

Group photo of artists and organizers at 5th Pakistan Mountain Festival
Group photo of artists and organizers at 5th Pakistan Mountain Festival

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