CPEC cultural caravan festival, artist convention to promote Pakistan’s soft image

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Rs55 million allocated for National Film Academy in Islamabad

Zubair Qureshi

CPEC Cultural Caravan Festival, Artists Convention and the closing ceremony of the 9th National Art Exhibition would leave a significant cultural impact at home and abroad. Director General of The Pakistan National council of the Arts (PNCA) Jamal Shah said this here Thursday while speaking at the media meet the PNCA organised to brief the journalists about the upcoming mega events.
He said the government has been providing funds for the culturally important interventions. Recently, the government has also approved the PC-II of the National Film Academy and has provided Rs. 55 million for the feasibility study and the design competition. The government has approved another five PSDP projects including National Centre of Excellence for Performing Arts, up-gradation of technical facilities for the film projection, construction of a restaurant along with souvenir shop, installation of multilingual multimedia information system for the visitors of the National Art Gallery and the PNCA open air theatre.
The DG PNCA said that the Cultural Caravan has provided a platform where exchange of ideas, cultures and norms took place among people of opposing backgrounds, cultural norms and values. The joint artistic tour particularly helped pave way for the participants and in the long term general masses of both Pakistan and China to develop a strong bond based on cultural ideals. It has helped artists of both countries in attaining a better insight regarding the local culture, art and musical variety of Pakistan as well as China.
He said the ninth grand art show is dedicated to the nine legendary artists of Pakistan including Ahmed Khan, Bashir Ahmad, Colin David (Late), Hajra Mansur, Ijaz ul Hassan, Mansur Rahi, Iqbal Geofrey, Saeed Akhtar and Zulqarnain Haider.
As many as 556 paintings and 140 sculptures and installations by 384 artists from all over the country were put on display that attracted a huge number of art lovers. These works were selected from the regional exhibitions that PNCA organised during the last several months. The themes of the regional exhibitions were quite different his time namely From Mehergarh to Quetta, From Harappa to Lahore via Katas, From Akra to Peshawar via Takht Bai, From Mohenjo-Daro to Karachi via Makli, and From Takhtbai to Islamabad. The Caravan had a strong impact on the cultural spectrum of both the countries. For starters, it helped to diminish the boundaries and stressed that cultural exchange has a pivotal role to play in this respect. Similarly, it has opened ways for countless opportunities for the two countries such as, combined film initiative, economic development and most importantly dissemination of cultural, traditional and such other notions between Pakistan and China. The Cultural Caravan also helped to spread the message of friendship between the people of both countries. Responding to a question, Jamal shah said, National Artists Convention is a moot of renowned Pakistani artists from all the fields to discuss the validity of art and culture and to ponder upon the challenges faced by arts and artists. The artists will deliberate on important issues and prepare a charter of demands for consideration. The proposed convention will invite the leading names of various forms of art to one platform to discuss threadbare cultural issues and conclude with recommendations for submission to the authorities to take necessary steps to alleviate the condition of the artists and try to remove ambiguities prevailing in various fields of arts because of certain state neglect and interest groups promoting their vested influence.

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