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Lifeless Gilgit walls turned into canvases

By Shabbir Mir

GILGIT: The sombre and grey Airport Road in Gilgit has been brought back to life by a series of colourful scenes painted on bare walls at Kashrote turning the street into an impromptu art gallery.

The artwork, depicting local culture, historical sites and a map of the region, were painted by scores of young students from Lahore and Gilgit as part of a street art competition by the Gilgit-Baltistan government. The competition aimed to promote culture in the region.

Around 30 students from educational institutions in Lahore and over 150 students from Gilgit painted historic buildings, including scenes from the Lahore and Skardu forts, rivers and scenic valleys of the region portraying traditions.

Students from Lahore painted historic buildings architecture while students from G-B focused on the culture and breathtaking views of their region.

Reception

Locals have appreciated the colourful and artistic change in their scenery. “This [artwork] was amazing, exclaimed one Kashrote resident.

“The wall that had always been blank has now been turned into art gallery,” he told The Express Tribune. Zaman Haider, a resident of Rondu area of Skardu and
had led the initiative, said that this was the first such activity of its kind in G-B.

“Apart from students from the Karakoram University, students from over 10 schools and colleges of G-B participated in the exercise,” he said.

He added that painting the walls in this way was a healthy exercise for students.

Haider hoped to involve more people when the project ultimately expands to other parts of the region.

He thanked G-B chief minister and Gilgit’s deputy commissioner for their cooperation and support for
the project.

G-B government spokesperson Faizullah Farak said the students had approached the chief minister seeking permission and cooperation to paint some walls.

“The good thing is the youth got to work on a healthy and creative activity and the town was also beautified in the process,” Farak told The Express Tribune.

He added the activity saved the government money
and time.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2016.

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