Parwaaz Painting Festival was an painting festival in Afghanistan that was funded by United Nations and was successfully implemented by Asia Culture House in 2018. The project was designed and started on 1sth February and finished on 30th March. The main motive behind initiating this festival was to highlight the “Positive Role of Women in Society”. It is it say that, the festival was basically initiated in Honor of 8th March (International Women’s Day).
The festival was announced online which the applicants numbered more than 500 who had applied for the competition. The applicants were not only from all across the country but also from other countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Netherlands.
In this festival 55 male and female artists had participated which were selected through a highly accurate and transparent process. Among the participants 15 male and female were from provinces and 40 others from Kabul including the artists with disabilities. The participants who came from provinces were provided with the transportation cost and accommodation during the five days stay in Kabul.
The first day of the festival was held in Bagh-e- Babur, on 10th March. The participants were provided with the painting materials (painting Canvas, boards, brushes, boom, color, oil, stand and etc.). The competition started from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m and the artists were served with the meal and refreshments during the competition by the supporting team.
The second day of the festival was held in the UNAMA hall as the 55 paintings were carefully transferred there for judgment. The juries included the First Lady of Afghanistan (Rula Ghani), Tubi Lanzar (General Assistant of United Nation), Roya Dost (one of the youngest singers and artist of Afghanistan), Professor Shila Waziri and Professor Enayatullah Niazi (the two professors from Kabul University).
The jury’s team successfully selected the top paintings tableaus and chose top three as well as top ten tableaus from the Parwaaz Painting Festival and they are:
First Prize Winner: Alireza Rahimi
Second Prize Winner: Mina Naibkhail
Third Prize Winner: S.Mahdi Zahak
The Festival had Top Ten Artists out of 55 participants and they are: Zahra Kainat, Wahida Safa, M Hassan Ataee, Ms. Sofia Nazari, Sakina Hussaini, Hamed Daneshwar, Najeeb Yousufi, Deba Qasimi, Freshta Alizada, Sadaf Naziri.
The special award of Parwaaz Painting Festival was given to: Robaba Mohammadi a disable Afghan painter who is painting with her mouth and she is a popular painter in Afghanistan.
The last day of the festival was successfully organized in Auditorium Hall of Kabul University, Where the Asia Culture House announced the result of the festival on 12th March. The program was held by the presence of Farkhunda Zahra Nadiri (Senior Advisor of the President), TUbi Lanser (General Assistant of United Nation in Afghanistan), Hamidullah Farooqi (Chancellor of the Kabul University), Roya Dost, artists, university students, people from other walks of life and national and international press.
In this program Mr. Tubi Lanser made remarks on behalf of the United Nations about the festival and highlighted that the very reason for supporting this festival was to highlight the positive role of women in the society. He further stressed that, every nation needs the full participation of women in every respect because they are the source of change and their contribution have a direct link with development. “A society can’t possibly develop keeping half of its population in the margin”, Mr. Lanser said, “and therefore stated that Afghan society should make every effort to involve more women on the table and decision makings and pave the way for them so that they work for positive changes in society and shine as they do so.
During the program the 3 winners were announced as well as the ten top and they were given prizes and certificates by the special guests. At the end of the program, the guests and the participants were welcomed by the painting exhibition as it was opened by Farkhunda Zahra Nadiri, Tubi Lanser and Hamidullah Farooqi.
All in all, the festival was very unique and left tangible results behind. It highlighted the positive role of women in the society and demonstrated the fact that women can make a huge difference in the country as long as they are given the opportunities and are equipped with skills that can help them to rise and shine.