The Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) is a flagship program of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi ITA (Center of Education and Consciousness) in Pakistan; promoting the love of reading, social emotional learning and life skills. Under the umbrella of CLF, the first Pakistan Learning Festival was organized in February 2021, as a three-day festival at different concurrent sites (in the cities of Lahore and Karachi) with phenomenal support from 25 partner organizations and 100+ Resource Personnel.
Keeping to its tradition, the second edition of the event, Pakistan Learning Festival is being organized in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) from June 1-3, 2021 with the theme “Celebrating & Preserving the Multicultural Heritage & Eco Diversity of Gilgit Baltistan.”
The hybrid face to face and digital event focuses on empowerment through learning and invites students, teachers as well as families to take part in different activities that include storytelling, STEM related activities and a lot more.
Talking about the event, CEO ITA and Founder Children’s Literature Festival, Baela Raza Jamil said: “The Pakistan Learning Festival (PLF) is a powerful platform to invoke conversations about disruptive learning as well as a creative reset challenging and setting aside norms of exclusion and gender stereotypes. Such pandemics become opportunities to be heard and pave pathways for rewriting socio-cultural narratives, developing new vocabularies and aspirations. Storytelling is the most powerful way for such counter conversations enriching and healing our lives.”
She added: “Mobilizing our incredible diaspora citizens whilst sitting in the Karakorams, home to the most majestic glaciers albeit so threatened, empowers one even more to engage in new genres of Children’s Literature that provide agency, courage and imagination for a bolder expression.
One of the sessions – titled: Storytelling for Inclusion & Gendered Roles: Emerging Genres in Children’s Literature –includes an enlightening chat between the distinguished Zarminae Ansari, founder of Joy of Urdu, a platform celebrating the Urdu language, and Executive Editor Ananke, Sabin Muzaffar.
Talking about her participation, Zarminae Ansari said: “This edition of the CLF, and this particular panel are both close to my heart. As a Cultural Tourism Consultant, I had undertaken the very first marketing plan for the Serena Hotels’ Gilgit B properties, which involved the very first music video to be shot there. An area where I have done much architectural research: it remains a favorite. In this panel, we discuss Children’s Literature, and Joy of Urdu began as an answer to a need as a parent when I could not find the kind of books and learning resources I was looking for.”
Agreeing with her, Ananke’s Sabin Muzaffar also remarked: “I think it’s refreshing to see a literary event and that too – a festival focusing the future generations – is taking place in a brand new location. Diversification is key to an empowered society. By organizing this event in Gilgit, CLF is not only reaching out to newer audiences, but also providing access to students, teachers and by extension communities that may not have that (access to learning and networking) otherwise.”
Such events are particularly relevant in contexts where mass school shutdowns limit avenues for children’s social emotional learning. For more details, head to the website: https://childrensliteraturefestival.com/plfgilgit/
Dates: 1-3 June, 2021
Timing: 9am-4:30pm Pakistan Standard Time
Venue: Fatima Jinnah Govt Degree College for Women, Gilgit