Dialogue on Arts and Culture in Conflict Recovery

‘Art uplifts the society by increasing empathy, critical thinking and tolerance’

KARACHI: Art has a pivotal role in uplifting the society by increasing empathy, critical thinking and tolerance as according to the progressive values.

The views were expressed in a dialogue and performance session attended by Publisher/ Director Adab Festival Ameena Saiyid OBE, S.I, Academician and Director Adab Festival Dr Asif Farrukhi, Poet Nasira Zubairi, Artist Rustam Khan and Screenplay writer Haseena Moin  on Friday.   

Haseena Moin said that aesthetics beautify a society as it provides the much-needed tolerate within an individual, adding that arts is a human need instilled by the Almighty. “It’s quite evident that a society which cherishes and appreciates art have more collective empathy, critical thinking and tolerance,” she added.

Dr Asif Farrukhi said that book reading is essential for a strong society which can not be swayed away by extremism, but added that its sad to note that the state of Pakistan doesn’t really encourage book reading or prioritise arts.

“The education system we have is creating a mob, which let alone making a good artist, is not even capable of producing a good reader,” he said while addressing the participants, “the artist doesn’t have resources to reach out to the society to give its message.”

He said that the young people have the thirst for arts and to showcase it but if one doesn’t allow them to showcase it, they have the potential to go towards negativity.

Poet Nasira Zubairi demanded that an emergency must be imposed in the country against the prevalent intolerance, adding that the hate present on social media is quite concerning for the artists.

“We have to make people realize that dissent is not wrong or unpatriotic in civilized societies. The language on social media is troubling to say the least. We have to urge people in power and with influence to teach tolerance and acceptance in soft tone.

Ameena Saiyid said that literature festivals in the country allow people to revive the message of tolerance and peace. She said that though arts and culture have a profound impact on the society but we have to make sure that through our arts the society is not internalizing misogyny or patriarchy.

The Media Baithak serves as a community space for cultural engagement of media and civil society representative. It gives platform to distinguished voices from the fields of journalism, politics, academia and other fields to discuss contemporary issues of the society.

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