Art and literature know no boundaries. Imagination sweeps over political demarcations, uniting people through the universal and timeless power of words and images. Such is the appeal of Pakistan’s most famous poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, who brings together people from India and Pakistan from across the world, by the strength of his verse.
The year 2011, the birth centenary of great poet is an opportunity to highlight this message of common humanity, peace and justice, through art and culture. To celebrate Faiz’s centenary, Aman ki Asha, the joint peace initiative of the Jang Group and the Times of India, in collaboration with NuktaArt magazine, Pakistan, and the historic Progressive Writers Association are coming to together to host an art competition and the newly instituted ‘Faiz Art Prize’.
To start with, the organisers will invite 2,000 practicing artists and art students from Pakistan and India to create a work of art inspired by Faiz. Their canvas? A postcard addressed to the poet, providing a visual dimension to Faiz’s poetry.
A panel of experts will judge the artwork and award the three most outstanding entrees with a sculpture by a leading Pakistani artist. Artwork by students will also be judged, with the four top student entrees being awarded cash prizes.
An exhibition for the collective expression of the artists will be held at the Sadequain Gallery at Frere Hall in Karachi. All artwork will be auctioned, with the proceeds going towards rehabilitating a potters’ village near Dera Ismail Khan in southern Punjab, that was destroyed by the devastating floods of 2010. Funds raised from this competition will not only help the people from the village to rebuild their lives, but will also contribute towards sustaining the artistic traditions of the region.
And so, in the tradition of Faiz, art, culture and poetry are being celebrated. Faiz’s message of peace and justice will bring together two countries, three organisations as scores of people – individuals, renowned artists and students alike – illustrate what Faiz means to them. In the process, another national landmark, the Sadequain gallery, will be showcased through the ‘Faiz Art Prize 2011’ exhibition.
For information about the Faiz Art Prize, please email [email protected] or visit www.nuktaartmag.com
List of Indian galleries participating to the Faiz Art Prize