ISLAMABAD: An international jury has announced finalists of a nation-wide art competition on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals at Pakistan National Council of the Arts on Sunday. More than 140 submissions were received from all over Pakistan, out of which 26 finalists have been selected.

Organized by the Embassy of Switzerland in collaboration with local and international partners, the competition titled ‘We the Peoples, We the Arts’ invited students to produce art works in four — categories, sculpture, painting and miniature painting and print making — on themes related to 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. Fine arts students aged 18 and above, enrolled in accredited Pakistani colleges and / or universities were eligible to participate.

More than 140 students from all over Pakistan sent their artwork in February. Gender equality, women’s empowerment, child rights, education, poverty and environment were recurrent themes of the artworks.

The first round of jury took place at PNCA on 24-25 March. In the first phase, judges pre-selected 26 finalists. The jury comprised Brigitta Blaha, Ambassador of Austria to Pakistan, Giovanni Carmine, Director, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland, Quddus Mirza, Head of Fine Arts Department, NCA Lahore, Pakistan and Stefanie Burri, Head of Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Islamabad, Pakistan.

All the selected artists will be invited to Islamabad to participate in the award ceremony on 10 May 2018, where they will be awarded 200 USD each. The second round of jury will take place a day before the award ceremony, in which one winner from each category will be selected.

Each of the four winners will be awarded USD500. Artworks from all the 26 finalists will feature in a high-quality catalogue and will be exhibited in major cities across Pakistan.

The finalists names are as follows in Print Making are Dua Rabbay, Karachi Rameesha Azeem, Lahore, Ruqaia Abdul Aziz, Karachi, Shahid Malik, Lahore Zainab Abdul Hussain, Karachi.

In Miniature Painting Gulsoom Musa, KarachiMahnoor Khawaja, Lahore Nadia Batool, Rawalpindi, Rameesha Sarmad, Lahore Zainab Amir, Lahore, Zunaira Farooq, Lahore

In Sculpture Ahsan Khurshid, Peshawar, Faheem Abdullah, Quetta, Mahoor Khan, Karachi, Syed Rameez, Karachi Tahmina Anwar, Karachi Warda Batool, Karachi.

In Painting names of winners are Haya Esbhani, Karachi, Muhammad Ibrahim, Peshawar, Murk Mangi, Lahore, Najeeb Ullah, Quetta, Rida Mehmood, Lahore, Tooba Ashraf, Lahore, Zoha Zafar, Lahore, Zunaira Malik, Rawalpindi

The Embassy of Switzerland in Pakistan first launched ‘We The People, We The Arts’_ in 2016 in collaboration with the UN Information Centre and several other partners. The first edition involved students of five leading art schools across Pakistan, who produced sculptures, paintings and miniature paintings, highlighting the theme of Zero Hunger; the second of 17 SDGs.

Building on the success of this initiative, partners decided to launch the second edition of ‘We The Peoples, We The Arts’_ and expand participation and thematic areas of the competition to include all the 17 SDGs.

The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

By 2030, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

The SDGs address the most pressing global challenges of our time, calling upon collaborative partnerships across and between countries to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development, economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social inclusion.

Jury members were welcomed by Director General of PNCA Jamal Shah when they arrived. L-R Head of Fine Arts Department NCA Lahore Quddus Mirza, Director Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Giovanni Carmine, Ambassador of Austria to Pakistan Dr. Brigitta Blaha, DG PNCA Jamal Shah, Head of Cooperation, SDC Dr. Stefanie Burri.