Group Photo with our Workshop Head Sue Giles
From the 7th to the 9th of April 2017, children from Khoj School for Community Education participated in the Tamasha Festival 2017 in Lahore. Tamasha Festival was a 3-day theater and performing arts Festival for children and youth - presenting performances, workshops and discussion sessions by eminent national and international artists.
Fifteen students and 2 teachers traveled from village Thatthi Bhanguaan to Lahore to attend. This was especially exciting for the children as almost all of them had not been to Lahore previously and were staring wide-eyed at their surroundings and the differences between Lahore and their villages. In addition to the Festival, the students were also taken to the Lahore Zoo, the largest Zoo in Pakistan, and the Lahore Museum as a part of their exposure trip.
The festival featured several plays, dances, songs, stories and puppet shows that left the students in awe. Some particular favorites of the students were Gogi aur Jugnu ka Tamasha, a play featuring a small girl who cannot wait to grow up so that she doesn't have to listen to her parents, Podna aur Podni, an excellent retelling of a classic folk story and a puppet show by US Entertainment warning children of the dangers of committing corruption whilst singing and dancing.
As well as losing themselves in these performances, the 6 younger students also participated in a workshop called Heads On! headed by Sue Giles, artistic director of Polyglot Theater, a theater company for children in Australia. Within minutes, the shy and hesitant children were enamored by Sue's charismatic personality and busied themselves in games and play. Noor Fatima even won a competition in the workshop. The children were asked to create costumes for themselves using just brown paper and tape and this was when our students transformed from children to warriors and princesses and fairies, all with some paper and a lot of imagination. The children were buzzing with excitement after the workshop the joy on their faces was palpable.
Another workshop, Storytelling with Dialogue, was also attended by two of our students, Noor and Qaila. The workshop was delivered by Reihaneh Youzbashi Dizaji, a playwright for children from Germany, who guided the children in writing compelling and interesting stories. Noor and Qaila made us proud by creating interesting and compelling stories on common household objects, a pair of scissors and a plate respectively. It is also worth noting that in this workshop, these two girls were the only children and the rest of the participants were adults. Despite this, they were confident and bold and outshone everyone with their imaginative and interesting stories.
Overall, the trip to Tamasha Festival and the Zoo and Museum were a hit with the students. They immensely enjoyed themselves and learned a vast amount of new information along the way. Another aim of this exposure trip was to introduce the children to the environment outside of their villages and to show them how to properly interact with other people.
This trip was only possible because of all of your generous contributions which enabled us to take these children out. We plan to do several more trips such as this, but it will only be possible with your continued support and help so that we can give more children a chance to interact with others and excel in their studies and their co-curricular.
Heads On! Workshop with Sue Giles
Playing a game at Heads On! Workshop
Making Costumes from Brown Paper
Workshop on Storytelling by Reihaneh from Germany
Storytelling with Dialogue Workshop