Youth exhibit traits of Pakhtun society

PESHAWAR, May 30: An exhibition of theses of the students of Arts and Designs department at University of Peshawar here on Monday presented youth`s perspective about traditional and current issues of Pakhtun society.

Whether it was traditional cuisine, long forgotten folklore, vanishing musical instruments or current issues like distorted image of Pakhtuns depicted in Pashto films or status of women in society, young artists from department of Arts and Designs presented it through fine arts.

The theses of 11 students were put on display in the week-long annual art and craft exhibition for the year 2011, inaugurated at University of Peshawar Pashto Museum Hall by Vice-chancellor Dr Azmat Hayat Khan.

More than 100 paintings by faculty members, senior alumni and young artists were put on display at the exhibition.

The theses included themes like folklores of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by Mutahira Iqbal, traditional cuisine by Rashid Ali, an analysis of Swat State by S. Mohammad Ayaz, the endeavors of provincial tourism corporation by Fahad Habib, the status and role of Pakhtun woman by Mohammad Ilyas, handicrafts of the province by Irfan Khan, Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by Saqib Masood, vanishing musical instruments in Pakhtun society by Uzair Mahboob and the true face of Pashto film industry, by Sara Saqib.

Rashid Ali, a final-year student, who had tried to show traditional cuisine through a calendar, said that exhibitions of arts helped students to exhibit their work at a larger level. “Such events are very encouraging for young artists,” he said.

Haleema Bibi had exhibited her textile designs and felt happy that her work got appreciated at the exhibition.

Sara Saqib, whose thesis topic on display was true face of Pashto films, described the lack of implementation of strict censor policy which was the major cause of vulgarity and nudity in Pashto films. She tried to show that such films have distorted the image of Pakhtuns.

Among the textile design section, architecture of walled city of Peshawar by Atiya Bokhari, Swati embroidery by Azra Begum, Gandhara Art by Maimoona Tul Kubra, designs of famous Peshawari metal work in textile by Haleema Bibi, inspiration from traditional jewellery of Peshawar by Bibi Saira and the work of Fatime Amin on architecture of Peshawar city on display was appreciated by the visitors.

Azra Begum, giving details about her work, said that Swati embroidery was one of the best in the country but little efforts were made to promote it. She said that the militancy in Swat disturbed the businesses and infrastructure of the valley.

“Women doing embroidery are still working hard as they are paid less for their work and there are very few display venues for them,” she added.

The chairman of Fine Arts department, Tayyeba Aziz, while addressing the inaugural ceremony said that art showed richness of a culture and status of a society could be gauged through it.

She said that art could only flourish if it was patronised by state and society. “Unfortunately art in our province has not been given support,” she added. Lack of understanding and suffocating environment resulted in stunted growth of art nowadays, she said.

Dr Azmat Hayat appreciated the work of students and faculty members on the occasion and announced extension of the two-day exhibition to one week. He said that presenting the true and soft image of Pakhtun society was need of the day and artists could do it in the best way.

He hoped that more people from the textile and communication industry would visit the exhibition to get ideas and hire skilled manpower from the institution.

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