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16 days of activism: Depicting violence against women through art

ISLAMABAD: A rap performance on gender violence by “No Direction”, a young group of musicians, had the small crowd head-bobbing and clapping to their songs at Nomad Art Gallery on Saturday.

The performance was held on the final day of “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” during an all-day open event.

The gallery opened its doors to all those interested in joining the cause, consisting of a colourful outdoor setup, arts and crafts display, music, peace mural and a mime performance.

The songs, consisting of Urdu and English mix rap songs, dealt with the country’s current issues and the youth’s confusion. “We usually deal with party songs but we specially wrote this rap for the event,” said the band’s leader Waqar.

The arts and crafts on sale consisted of truck art, handicrafts and pretty embroidery. Several people were seen admiring the skilful work, while others readily purchased kurtis and traditional bags.

In addition to that, the participation of undiscovered talent among a crowd of well known artists was highly commendable.

The highlight of the event was a mime performance by fifth year architecture students of Comsats Institute of Information Technology.

Revolving around the basic idea of a woman’s suppression in a male dominating society and her struggle through the seven deadly sins (wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony), the performance was an entirely different experience, although there were some technical glitches during the performance.

The mime depicted a girl struggling to stand against the enticing seven sins, as each of them tried to woo her, eventually succumbing to the sins and in turn being shunned by the society because of it.

“It is an exaggeration of the idea that if these sins are committed by a man they go unnoticed but if a woman falls to these sins she ends up paying the price,” said the director Fatima Ikram.

With its powerful message and flawless performance, the mime was appreciated by many in the audience, who rushed to congratulate them. The day came to an end with a book reading by Sadia Hayat and Ali Fateh.