‘Art is Power’; an artistic outcome by the girls who are asking for an equal world through their art work for the equal representation has begun at Siddhartha Art Gallery, Baber Mahal Revisited. One week long exhibition kicked off on September 22 that features around 150 representative artworks by girls.
According to a press statement released by Plan, prior to the exhibition, art workshops were organized in five districts —Jumla, Banke, Makwanpur, Sindhuli and Sunsari— to provide a platform for marginalized girls and young women to express themselves through art, bridge their voices to decision makers and raise awareness against inequalities. A total of 235 girls (11-17 years of age) participated the workshop in August 2019, who had never got chance to express their issues publicly.
After the workshops, one day was allocated for making their art work final. These works were exhibited in communities which were visited by 1,500 people including local government officials, leaders, teachers, civil society members, media and parents of the girls. The ‘Art is Power’ event is being technically lead by Siddhartha Art Foundation, with support and funds from Plan International Nepal. Three of the embassies, Finland, France and Germany are collaborating for the promotion of the ‘Art is Power’ exhibition and many other art institutions facilitated to bring the art work into Kathmandu in order to bridge girls concerns to decisions makers.
It added that the event inspired the girls to visually explore what the word ‘equality’ means on multiple levels. Giving the girls the agency to “question” meant leading them on an artistic path of introspection. The workshops were designed to make the girls voice how they are still vulnerable at home, school and in other spaces and to think of ways this could be addressed. In the exhibition, translation of the texts and poems has been kept which reveal the incredible power of the questions posed by the girls. The drawings and paintings and poems reinforce the power of the arts to address the pressing social issues of our times.
Art is Power is an initiative of ‘Girls Get Equal’; a global youth led social change campaign of Plan International which was began last year with the three key demands; girls get equal power, girls get equal freedom and girls get equal representation. The campaign was launched in Nepal on March 8 and has planned for concentrated efforts to support girl’s movement and equality in Nepal.
The exhibition continues till September 28.