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Pakistan deaf artist uses art for activism and awareness

Art is my language, she says

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 24, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 24, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Pakistan deaf artist uses art for activism and awareness

Photo: Naya Din

A Pakistani deaf artist has been using her art to raise awareness about people with disabilities.

I have been using art to communicate with people since childhood, said Husn Ara in sign language while speaking on SAMAA TV’s morning show Naya Din. “I would depict it on the canvas if I was feeling happy, sad, or anxious,” she said. “Art was a source of outlet for me.”

Speaking about her recent exhibition in Islamabad, she said that the ‘Deaf Art Series’ seeks to raise awareness about the problems faced by the 10 million deaf people in Pakistan. “We don’t feel accepted because of the lack of resources. I want to become the voice of the deaf community.”

Art has become my language now and I want people to be able to express their individuality too, she added.

Her friend, another artist Abdur Rehman, introduced her as a “differently but a perfectly abled artist.” He said that she can speak but we just don’t understand her language. This is why more people should learn sign language to make society more inclusive, he added.

Ara and her three other friends, including Rehman and Maria Aslam, launched a special initiative to bring happiness to people through their art.

“Coronavirus had changed the world we knew so we thought of using our time more productively and creating art that people can relate to,” said Rehman. “People were feeling disconnected so we wanted to use art to connect people.”

He shared that there are planning another exhibition in spring and hope to include the work of more deaf artists.

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