At the Lahore Biennale Festival 2018 on Tuesday the performance of veteran actress, artist and art teacher Salima Hashmi’s performance stole the show at ArtSpeak.Salima Hashmi presented a brief satirical performance based on a character from the series written and performed on Pakistan Television by Shoaib Hashmi in the 1970s. The character was a school teacher from a municipal school who constantly admonished the children but in this case it was an errant artist. Talking to Daily Times, Salima observed that she actually changed the character, role and script as per the LBF but the same character was originally performed by her in Hashmi’s drama. She said, “LBF is no doubt a good platform and a dream of the artists of Pakistan and it’s just a beginning and we will be having a lot more such events in future.”Another session titled ‘Set’ by Naiza khan exhibited a selection of field notes kept by the her since 2007, covers of her decade long research on Manora Island, the urban landscape of Karachi and its maritime history. It also covered the time during which she inhabited and travelled to other cities. Over the year, she has traversed Manora on foot, re-visiting the same sites and investigating the structures on the island through a range of media; drawings, video work and narrative text. The island has become a space for incubation- where many ideas have sprouted, finding form in different guises and different place.In collaboration with artist Momin Zafar, she narrated her work-which was a journey from 2007 to 2017. Naiza had compared the Manora of 2007 with the Manora of 2017 as well as with other countries which she visited in this time span. She compared Manora with wherever she went whether it was New York, Amsterdam, Tehran or London; she tried to compare these cities with Manora. Her multiple visits to the island and observance of infrastructural and landscape changes being held in the island were depicted in her work. However, as part of the Lahore Biennale’s youth outreach initiative under Academic Forum, the Youth Forum organised a series of art workshops, artist talks, and tours at Bagh e Jinnah. The workshop is being designed by Ayesha Nabi and Irteza Ubaid. However the Beaconhouse School System and Lahore Grammar School are collaboration in all these workshop sessions. The students belonging to different schools of city are participating.Students are being taught to use their creative imagination and artistic skill in workshops like the art of storytelling, science workshop with science fuse, truck art, calligraphy and origami with carbon ochre, and kite making with Muhammad Fayyaz Hussain. Students are also given curate tours of the Lahore Biennale art works at the Bagh-e-Jinnah and Lahore Fort. “Developing the love of art and culture in the young generations as the custodians of our heritage and bridging the divide between the have and the have-nots in our society that is the goal the Youth Forum hopes to achieve.” stated Ayesha Nabi.These activities, conducted in the open, historic gardens, intend to stimulate the minds of the young children to take up new hobbies and possibly sow the seed that motivates them to become the custodians of art and culture. Additionally, it is an opportunity for the children to partake in community based activities helping them build their confidence and break the barriers of class. These workshops will conclude in exhibits created by the children that will go on display, giving them a sense of ownership of public spaces in the hope that it encourages children to become responsible citizens. Teachers and parents voiced their enthusiasm and approval alike for activities that encouraged creative expression and taught artistic skills to students about their heritage and culture.“I loved the concept and idea of the Youth Forum,” Irteza Ubaid said, “This program will have a lasting social impact as more than 2,000 young ones from various backgrounds will undergo these art workshops and curated tours of Lahore Biennale sites.” Published in Daily Times, March 28th 2018.