LAHORE: More than 35 young artists, aged between 16 and 25, are hoping to highlight key issues of peace, conflict resolution and diversity through performing arts at the Tamasha YES Peace workshop.

The six-day workshop started this week and is a joint collaboration between the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and The Little Art – an organisation supporting young artists from marginalised backgrounds.

According to programme manager Umair Mushtaq, the extensive training programme is based on achieving sustainable development goals through art.

“The workshop will help participants develop the skills to understand, analyse, facilitate and lead conflict resolution activities, while engaging audiences in their home communities for dialogue on key issues. The aim is to discuss peace, conflict resolution, gender equality, cross-cultural understanding and diversity using the power of theatre and performing arts,” Umair explained.

The interactive theatre workshop includes activities such as games, exercises, and techniques to create dialogue on key issues. Among many activities, the workshop includes a session on ‘youth as agents of sustainable change’ and ‘promoting values of global citizenship education through performing arts’.

According to Umair, other main objectives were to enable the participants to work in artistic ensembles, enhance skills of listening, manage points of view and develop vocal, physical and imaginative expression skills. He says that the project has adopted a process oriented approach and a range of mentors will work with selected youth through workshops and public showcases.

According to details provided by the organisers, three workshops will be held during the course of the project; two in Lahore and one in Islamabad. The event will also present other Yes Peace partners and their work from across Pakistan.

“By creating opportunities for the youth to share their voices, the programme aims to develop skills and attitudes necessary for a lifetime behavioural change towards civic engagement and peace-building,” he concludes.

Published in The Express Tribune

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