“Its (The Aga Khan Museum) fundamental aim will be an educational one, to actively promote knowledge of Islamic arts and culture.” - His Highness The Aga Khan, Address at the ‘Musée-Musées’ Round Table Conference, Louvre Museum (Paris, France), 17th October 2007.
Art and architecture have been a longstanding cultural tradition in our history and the way Muslims have expressed themselves over the years. With the launch of Jubilee Arts, during the Diamond Jubilee, His Highness The Aga Khan set a precedent of how artistic expression molds the identity of a community.
In accordance with His Highness’ vision, The Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board for Pakistan took it upon themselves to create the next generation of artists in the community. In collaboration with the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture (IVS) based in Karachi, winter art camps were organised for the Jamat residing in Gilgit, Ishkoman Puniyal and Hunza regions of Gilgit-Baltistan. This camp aimed to introduce the youth to the basic skills of drawing, rendering and painting techniques in an attempt to promote future career prospects in fine arts.
The workshop was attended by a total of 345 students, of which 63% were girls, and was facilitated by six teachers from IVS, who concluded the programme with certificate distribution. The facilitators encouraged students to let the raw beauty of their natural habitat, as well as their cultural heritage, inspire their artwork while making efficient use of resources and recycling wherever possible. Sana Naqvi, one of the facilitators from IVS saw “a lot of potential in carrying out an art programme in Gilgit-Baltistan.”
Participants felt motivated and touched by the dedication of instructors and staff; one passionately mentioned how they “worked together with the teachers as one family.” It is safe to say that the camp ignited the spark of exploration in the participants and allowed them to view their surroundings from an artistic lens.