Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a renowned Pakistani documentary filmmaker, has announced the launch of Neela Asmaan, an international artist residency program aimed at fostering creativity, promoting cross-cultural exchange, and advancing the cause of women’s rights and gender equality.
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Neela Asmaan will provide a supportive and inspiring environment for artists from around the world to pursue their creative projects and engage with local communities in Pakistan. The residency program will be based in Shigar Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan and will offer artists the opportunity to work in a variety of mediums, including film, photography, painting, writing, and music.
According to Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the goal of Neela Asmaan is to provide a platform for artists to create new work, share their perspectives and experiences, and build bridges between cultures. “Art has the power to bring people together and to promote understanding and empathy,” she said. “With Neela Asmaan, we hope to create a space where artists from different backgrounds can come together, collaborate, and create works that reflect their shared experiences and perspectives.”
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The residency program will also provide opportunities for artists to engage with local communities and learn about the rich cultural heritage and traditions of Pakistan. “Artists will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture, to work with local artists and communities, and to gain a deeper understanding of the country and its people,” said Obaid-Chinoy.
The launch of Neela Asmaan is a significant milestone in Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s efforts to promote women’s rights and gender equality through the power of art and creativity. Over the years, Obaid-Chinoy has established herself as a leading voice for the cause, using her films and other works to shed light on the challenges facing women and girls in Pakistan and around the world.
About Neela Asmaan
According to Dawn, Neela Asmaan will transport artists to the Shigar valley in Gilgit-Baltistan and offer them an opportunity to make art, taking inspiration from their picturesque surroundings.
The residency programme is open to writers, photographers, philosophers, architects, climate change warriors, visual artists, and design practitioners. It will provide private bedrooms and shared spaces that double as studio spaces, as well as a stipend of up to Rs 100,000.
Applicants must have a clear vision for their project and produce a Statement of Intent to convey this. The residency offers a stay of 2-4 weeks. Residents will be paired with a mentor during the program, to provide them with meaningful feedback and hone their creative skills.
“Neela Asmaan is a unique opportunity for artists to refocus and create original works in a supportive and nurturing environment,” said Obaid-Chinoy, founder of SOC Films. “We’re excited to bring this programme to life and support the next generation of talented artists.”
Applications for the first cycle of the Neela Asmaan will be accepted starting February 15th with a deadline of March 15th.
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