The Karachi Biennale 2017 had an extensive Art Educational Program. The work undertaken can be categorized as:
- Pre-Biennale Program
- During Biennale Program
- Collaborative Projects
The Pre-Biennale Program was undertaken to start conversations about the Biennale with schools invited for school tours of KB17– a strategy that engaged students and faculty alike. We reached out to 1109 students from 13 unique schools through our ‘KB17 In Your School’ workshops, and around 80 A-Level students through the ‘Art Think Tank Phase 1’ held at 3 schools.
During the first Karachi Biennale, KB17, we reached out to 2023 students and 195 teachers from a total of 30 schools. This was accomplished through ‘School Tours’ which took place at 4 venues of the Biennale, for 4 days a week, allowing school children to look at the artwork critically. ’Art Think Tank Phase II’ discussed the current Art Scene and the possible impact of the Biennale on the city and how we perceive ‘Art’.
During the weekends, we were able to attract around 510 people as family groups, through our ‘Weekend Program’ which included the ‘Ma ka Hath ka Khana’ and ‘Art Chaos Theory’. The Art Chaos Theory program was a collaborative program with the Manchester Art Gallery and between a school in Manchester and Karachi, where both tried to create their impressions of the other city.
KB17 also understood the importance of the need to empower the individuals who are at the frontlines of Art Education, the result of which was the ‘Art Teachers Workshop’ – the first of its kind initiative that tried to empower them. Utilizing case studies and real-life examples of work that people are already doing in the field, the workshop not only tried to find ways to curtail some of the issues faced by the teachers but also how, together, we can come up with strategies which would allow Art to become an integral part of the curriculum.
The overall program reached out to students of all the way from primary to university level; ranging from Government schools all the way to the A-Level Schools. It was a holistic and inclusive program.
The Educational Program tried to create an environment through its work which ensured that contemporary art becomes a way to inquire and generate knowledge together. Art allows us this unique opportunity to hone children’s analytical skills, and the KB17 educational program tried to take advantage of this by allowing them to explore.