Poster exhibition: Students show dark side of early marriage

ISLAMABAD: In the absence of proper legislation against forced marriages, the menace is a pervasive reality. The practice of marrying off underage young girls and boys is particularly prevalent to settle disputes among other ulterior motives in some rural parts of the country.

Depicting the plight of individuals who are at the helm of this outdated tradition, an exhibition of posters based around the theme went up on display at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts gallery on Thursday.

The participants, who come from art schools and colleges in the twin cities, have employed digital illustrative techniques, a mix of stock images and some hand-made art pieces to share their ideas on the taboo subject.

Wrists locked in handcuffs or ropes, a solitaire ring sitting atop a revolver, tear drops trickling down on forlorn faces and overpowering tones of black and grey symbolise the ensuing, the difficult emotions that the victims go through. Evocative slogans and jingles contextualise bold presentations of unuttered misery.

Lara Zunelli of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and visitor at the exhibition commended the initiative. Pointing to a pastel-on-paper poster displaying a sense of isolation among the affected families, she said, “The message is very strong, direct and transparent and is highlighted in a sensitive manner. The imagery is thought-provoking.”

The two-day exhibition that has been organised by the not-for-profit organisation Struggle for Change in collaboration with the British High Commission will be opened by the High Commissioner Phillip Barton on Friday.

A panel of artists from the National College of Arts will judge the posters on content, creativity and relevance to the theme.

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