Sargodha Literary Festival continues at UoS on second day

SARGODHA: The second day of the fourth Sargodha Literary Festival (SLF), featuring an online art exhibition and intellectual discussions here at the University of Sargodha (UoS), attracted a large number of people concerned.

The day started with a talk on the ‘Art and Liberation’, moderated by renowned photographer and graphic designer Ayesha Bilal, while artists from across Pakistan including Dr Ahmad Bilal, Shahnawaz Zaidi, RM Naeem, Asrar Hussain Chishti and Nirmal Bano participated as panelists through ‘Zoom’. The participants interpreted “Art as a medium to express, invent and comprehend”.

The artists highlighted the importance of artwork as a reflection of society and a source of inspiration for communication, character building and cultural archives while promoting peace, love, tolerance and compassion among all human beings, irrespective of prejudices of caste or class systems prevalent in our society.

The virtual painting exhibition on the theme of “Art and Liberation” mesmerised the audience as artworks of over 50 artists from across Punjab had been showcased at the Zubeida Agha Art Gallery of the Sargodha University. The artists exhibited their ideas on various aspects of life under the shadow of liberation through oil-on-canvas, watercolour, acrylic paints, poster colours, sculptures, and photography.

Another Punjabi session on ‘Freedom of expression in folk literature’ was participated by eminent historians of Punjabi Dr Saeed Bhutta, Faisal Jappa and Zaheer Wattoo. The discussion was held on reimagining the traditions and culture of the past to understand the present. The panelists said that the freedom of expression, particularly in folk literature, helps get rid of evils in society. No social evils can be eliminated until and unless people are given the power to speak up against malpractices, they added.

A discussion on future prospects of the digital world was held during the session on the ‘Future of social media’ that was moderated by the social media activist Sabookh Syed with two award-winning senior journalists Azaz Syed and Ambar Shamsi as experts. The overwhelming message was that the pervasiveness of social media had allowed the audience to access any news anytime from any social media platform. Moreover, any strong name and long heritage of mainstream news media organisations are no longer considered powerful enough to set the agenda.

The three-day festival will conclude on Friday with a special session on ‘Celebrating the 70 years of Pak-China Relations’, in which Nong Rong, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, will share his thoughts on the topic.