Pakistani, Indian students display work at NCA -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pakistani, Indian students display work at NCA

Pakistan Press Foundation

LAHORE: An exhibition titled ‘Exchange for Change: Pakistan India 2012 – 2013’ featuring works of students from both the countries opened at National College of Arts on Tuesday.

The exhibition has been organised by the Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) in collaboration with Routes2Roots (R2R).

The CAP in collaboration with Routes 2 Roots, an Indian non-profit organisation working for peace and dialogue between Pakistan and India, has successfully completed a 14-month project ‘Exchange for Change: Pakistan India 2012 – 2013’.

As many as 3,500 students from across Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh believe that their stories across the two nations are the same and are worth sharing with the general public to dispel misperceptions that prevail on both sides of the border. To this end, CAP is undertaking a series of three exhibitions in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad where students of the Exchange for Change project will share experiences and lessons learnt from the 14-month initiative.

CAP and R2R believe that such exhibitions will further build upon the relationships developed over the life of the project, leading to a positive change in restructuring cultural misconceptions and inter-generational conflict. It is believed that youth interaction and direct communication will lead to a more informed and fundamental understanding of each other.

Exchange for Change is an exciting initiative by CAP that aims at improving relationships between school students in different countries. The programme seeks to help students across borders realise that dialogue is possible and sustainable. Through cross-culture communication we have realised that students can have a clearer understanding of their history, culture and life styles.

CAP believes such interaction will in turn lead to a positive change and eliminate cultural misconceptions and inter-generational conflict.

Exchange for Change was first launched in September 2010 among 2,400 school children from 10 schools in Karachi, Lahore, Delhi and Mumbai. After its spectacular success the project was expanded in 2012 to 3,500 school children from 17 schools in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Delhi, Chandigarh and Mumbai. The selected schools from across six major cities ensured a holistic dialogue between students belonging to diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

The ‘Letters to the Past,’ series kicked off the project in September 2012 during which students engaged in letter writing activities, sharing their thoughts, values, hobbies and interests with each other. A special emphasis was laid on discussing historical and cultural facts so that students were not only able to make friends across the border but also participate in information exchange. Between December 2012 and February 2013, the ‘Photography Series,’ involved students in making postcards, greeting cards and collages based on four themes: school life, food, festivals and marriages and historical monuments. This endeavour enabled students to familiarise each other with the history, culture and lifestyle.

The ‘Oral History’ series was conducted from February to April 2013, adding an audio-based dimension to the project. Students interviewed their grandparents, collecting historical narratives about various cities across Pakistan and India as well as their recollections of the early years.

Schools from Pakistan that participated in the project included Mama Parsi School, BVS Parsi High School, AMI School, School of Technical Sciences, The Trust School, The Citizens Foundation, Quality Schools Foundation, Quaid-i-Azam International School, White House School and Gulshan-i-Iqbal Public School.

Indian participating schools are Gem Public School, Saupins School, The British School, Adarsh Vidalaya, Shree Amulakh Amichand Bhimji Vividlakshi Vidyalaya, Guru Harikrishnan School and Tagore International School.

The Citizens Archive of Pakistan is a non-profit organisation dedicated to cultural and historic preservation, operating in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

Routes2Roots is a registered non-profit charitable organisation, which endeavours to bring together people, cultures and values across Saarc countries, particularly India and Pakistan.

Routes2Roots has organised numerous programmes across the country for artists from Pakistan and other Saarc countries and has sent Indian artists to these countries in a move to enhance people-to-people understanding and make this region a peaceful place.

DAWN


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