“We look around us and realise that something needs to be done, yet find no immediate solutions…We must look at our community with compassion, estimate its strengths as well as its weaknesses, and assess its potential for change.” – Karen Armstrong
In a city that has just made it to the cover of Time Magazine as one of the most violent cities in the world, Students at Karachi University visual arts department take a challenge to design a compassionate city campaign for Karachi.
Compassion and empathy has been touted as the antidote to violence and conflict. In fact, under the Charter for Compassion, some cities have begun to ask the question: What does a compassionate city look like? http://my.compassionateactionnetwork.com/group/iicc and how can we build communities built on this principle in our times?
Increasingly, the world is seeing how storytelling through visual artistry can tell the stories of the voiceless, engage individuals to act and transform communities. (See the ‘ Inside Out Project).
Students used multiple strategies including newspaper, radio, tv, and press ads with thoughtful messages on compassion and tolerance attempting to target the root causes of violence. For example, student Sarah Gul focused on the importance of self-compassion in her ‘Dare to Wear campaign.’ The campaign encourages people to embrace and accept their own faults and ‘wear them.’ In her campaign accepting our own faults first is the only way we can start begin to live compassionately towards others.
‘Make Karachi a Compassionate City’, can a city wide visual art campaign be a start to the conversation? What would you do?