Art creates empathy and brings people together – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Pakistani filmmaker, journalist and activist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is forging her own path in this increasingly connected world. The two-time Academy Award winner had a terrific run last year as she was awarded the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for her award-winning documentary, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness and ended the year on a high note with release of 3 Bahadur: The Revenge of Baba Balam – that has earned the status of being Pakistan’s highest grossing animated film.
It was also announced late last year that Obaid-Chinoy would co-chair the 47th edition of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Speaking then on being the first artist to co-chair this prestigious forum, Obaid-Chinoy had said: “It is a great honour… I have always believed that the true mark of any thriving society is the amount of investment made in its cultural and artistic infrastructure. There is, now, an increasing recognition of the fact that business and economics must go hand-in-hand with culture and arts for society to move forward and it is with great pride that I will be representing both the art community and my country, Pakistan!”
And that moment is finally here; as this report is being written, Obaid-Chinoy is in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland for the three-day event that began on January 17 and will go on till January 20. She participated in a press conference, alongside an esteemed panel of speakers, who offered their “perspective on the theme of Responsive and Responsible Leadership.”
Obaid-Chinoy, while discussing “the role & importance of art & culture in societies” said during one discussion at WEF: “Art creates empathy and brings people together – it’s a crucial part of creating a more inclusive world.”
She further stated: “The language of hate often trumps the language of inclusion. This is the time to speak up, not to stay quiet & hope.”
The WEF meeting will convene more than 2,500 participants from nearly 100 countries to take part in over 300 sessions.
Apart from Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, close to 40 cultural leaders will be participating in over 50+sessions. Some prominent names include Yo-Yo Ma, will.i.am, Matt Damon, Karan Johar, Jamie Oliver, Imogen Heap and author Elif Shafak.