Islamabad Chapter Uses Art to Raise Awareness of Climate Change Issues

A group of 16 artists led by the curator of Gallery6 and EWCA Islamabad Chapter Leader, Dr. Arjumand Faisel, attended a retreat in Naran to produce artworks that would help create awareness on climate change issues. The purpose of the retreat was to development visual art work that can subsequently be used to create awareness about factors leading to climate change and its resultant negative impacts. The retreat was jointly sponsored by PTDC, Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change, Snow Leopard Foundation, Gallery6 and East West Center Association, Islamabad Chapter.

Dr. Faisel provided technical guidance throughout the retreat. Participants captured landscapes depicting biodiversity, natural environmental, vulnerability to disasters, degradation of land, deforestation, and a host of other subjects related to climate change. The retreat also offered participants a rare opportunity to interact with local people and to hear them voicing their concerns on relevant issues.

In conjunction with the retreat, special activities included cleaning selected places with the participation of artists and visiting tourists; to spread messages (through social media) advocating and urging visitors not to litter; and also to pick up the mess spread by others. Participants carrying biodegradable bags picked up non-degradable garbage from the banks of Lulusar Lake on August 2 and Saiful Muluk Lake on August 4. Families and groups picnicking at the lakes and locals joined the effort and started collecting garbage. Many visitors took pictures to upload on social media to spread the message; some made videos and interviewed group members to upload on their pages or blogs. The group gave the activity the slogan ‘Hamara Pakistan – Saaf Pakistan,’ or ‘Our Pakistan, clean Pakistan’ which appealed not only to the visitors but also to area locals.