VISUAL ARTS WORKSHOP
Using the art of photography for a journey within one self…
20th November 2013, 11am to 1pm.
VISUAL ARTS EXPRESSION EXHIBITION BY ACID ATTACKS’ SURVIVORS
Acid Survivors Foundation celebrated the closure of a visual arts expression workshop, in collaboration with Aurat Foundation, SEHER and US AID, via a unique photography exhibition in Nomad Gallery today. This was also the occasion to mark the International Child Rights Day as the photography Workshop included children victims of acid violence.
This event was part of a project that the Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan is implementing under Gender Equity Program of Aurat Foundation, with the support of the USAID in Islamabad. The project’s objective is to strengthen private shelters and to establish psycho-social and legal Counselling and to facilitate economic rehabilitation of acid attack survivors.
Under the provision of informal education to acid attack survivors, A 21 day Visual Arts and Expression Workshop started at ASF on July 8th, 2013. The workshop was led by a renowned Spanish photographer Mr. Diego Sanchez Ibarra and by Ms. Myra Iqbal, who taught 9 survivors to express themselves via the art of photography. The motive behind this workshop was to assist survivors in their rehabilitation process, while providing them with photographic knowledge and skills, which may later result in an income generating activity. These 9 survivors will later on be training other survivors on a peer to peer basis, as well as their families and friends, thus will become knowledgeable agents of change. “This kind of creative pilot experiences stand as important steps towards progress and well being of GBV survivors in general”, declared Mr Mohammad Khan, ASF Executive Director.
The event was attended by the participants of the Workshop and other survivors, members of the diplomatic community, journalists, and many other visitors interested generally in arts and particularly in the work and efforts of these strong individuals, victims turned survivors, turned agents of change…
“This is a real example of positive synergy to generate sustainable positive change”, declared Valerie Khan Yusufzai, ASF Chairperson. “We hope to be able to replicate and even upscale this experience with Aurat Foundation and GEP team, as well as in the Social Rehabilitation Center planned in Multan for acid and burn survivors, in collaboration with Punjab Health Department, Nishtar Hospital and The Italian Cooperation. This is the first rehabilitation center of its kind in the region, probably in the world even, under PIDSA: Pakistan Italian Debt Agreement. The government must also pass the Comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill at a provincial level to ensure that these rehabilitation services – that are crucial for those survivors- do not depend upon donors or upon political decisions: this proactive and constructive response to acid and burn violence must be part of a wider indigenous policy to counter GBV in our country. We need a stronger legal framework with an adequate implementation mechanism to sustain efforts to promote peace and social justice”.