On a sunny winter afternoon this January, CAP hosted Little Literati: A Story Art Circle, an activity specially curated for the Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) 2018. The festival was held on the 13th-14th of January at the historical Lahore Fort in the walled city. The Story Art Circle engaged students from various schools, inviting them to come and listen to stories and anecdotes from three of CAP’s Oral History Project interviewees – Zahid Shamsi, Yasmin Bokhari and Agha Salman Baqir – and to create art inspired from their stories.
In the lush green grounds of Diwan-e-Aam at the Lahore Fort, children huddled around poet and painter, Yasmin Bokhari, along with Zahid Shamsi – also a poet – and Agha Salman Baqir, who has been a script editor at Radio Pakistan during the 70s and 80s. The three artists shared stories of the early years of Pakistan – including personal encounters with Quaid-e-Azam and Fatima Jinnah – and inspiring words and poetry of Iqbal and Azad. Students wearing red, grey, beige and white uniforms – representing various schools – all listened intently as the artists shared personal anecdotes and words of wisdom with the kids. Some students also proudly recited Iqbal’s poetry that they had learned at school. After the interactive storytelling session, the students cheerfully grabbed art supplies and created beautiful artwork inspired from these stories.