Azaranica is a non-biased news aggregator on Hazaras. The main aim is to promote understanding and respect for cultural identities by highlighting the realities they face on daily basis...Hazaras have been the victim of active persecution and discrimination and one of the reasons among many has been the lack of information, awareness, and disinformation.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hazara children: Still life

Fazil Mousavi pumps hope and colour into the ethnically fragmented lives of Hazara children. PHOTOS: DANIAL SHAH

By Danial Shah / Photo: Danial Shah / Creative: Munira Abbas

Red may run through the lives of Hazaras in Quetta but their children still manage to paint a positive picture. At the Sketch Club in Mariabad, that boasts the oldest Hazara settlement in the eastern half of the city since the late 18th century, parents enroll their children to nurture their artistic talent.

A student practices drawing clay pots at the Sketch Club . PHOTOS: DANIAL SHAH

It’s not hard to spot the club tucked away in the middle of a row of stores and houses in the neighbourhood. The words ‘Sketch Club’ are painted in an oblique font on the signboard at the entrance, cemented in place over a stand-out white steel gate. A flight of stairs lead up to an open terrace where children sit in broad daylight, with their sketchbooks and shading pencils in tow. Inspired by an astounding view of the Mariabad valley, where houses are built in succession one above the other, they begin to sketch the object placed before them, taking instructions from their maestro on how to add highlights and texture to their drawing.

“I was teaching art at a school when I felt the need to [pass on] my skill to my community, hence the concept of ‘Sketch Club’ came into being,” says the 54-year-old drawing instructor, Fazil Mousavi. After completing his degree in Fine Arts at the University of Balochistan, in 1988, at a time where only one other known Hazara student graduated with him, he started work as a freelance artist, participating and winning prizes at nationwide exhibitions till 2002 and holding a solo exhibit at the Museum Willem van Haren, Holland, in 2007. But Mousavi’s vision was fulfilled with having his very own sketch club in Quetta, where he now offers psychological and emotional catharsis through art to Hazara boys and girls....Continue Reading... 

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