ISLAMABAD-The first ever 13-day long International Islamabad Art Festival 2019 (IAF-19), featuring artists from at least 34 countries would be inaugurated here in federal capital on Monday.

President and chief curator of IAF-19 Jamal Shah told APP that the festival will be hosted in several locations in Islamabad engaging an audience from diverse backgrounds and ages in big numbers, adding that art activities of all genres will be held.

Shah said that the festival aims to bring Pakistan’s vibrant young art scene and its innovative and energetic spirit in close contact with international artistic activity to explore cross fertilisation of ideas, concerns and challenges.

“The platform invited artists of consequence from diverse cultural backgrounds, creative disciplines and outlooks for a novel and multi-disciplinary aesthetic encounter and exploration of its thematic focus,” he said.

Shah said that the overarching thematic focus of Islamabad Art Fest 2019 is aesthetic encounter between tradition and modernity, adding that this will be explored across cultures and identities in an inclusive way, thinking about both differences and similarities.

Islamabad Art Fest 2019 will energise the Pakistani art scene and encourage local art enthusiasts and visitors from abroad to visit the country and benefit from the ideas and art of the participating artists.

It will provide people the opportunity for aesthetic encounters with the works of local and international artists through exhibits, interactive workshops, talks, performances, educational activities, seminars and guided visits, with the participation of a growing number of schools from the federal region and beyond, he said.

The ceremony will take place at the PNCA in the presence of artists, ministers, diplomats, dignitaries and media followed by a robust media campaign.

Around 30,000 teachers and 300,000 pupils from twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi will be indirectly involved in IAF-19 (Islamabad Art Fest 2019) whereas the event will also be experienced by a big number of students and general public from Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and other cities from all over Pakistan taking the numbers of indirect beneficiaries to 500,000.

More opportunities for research and production will be provided to the younger generation of artists. They will be in direct contact with recognized professionals which should make networking more systematic in visual art, dance, theatre, music, and cinema.

These local artists will be further engaged in a series of workshops all over the country in districts, towns, cities in all provinces.

IAF-19 will be catalogued comprehensively with information on each participating artist along with detailed documentation of their projects and outcome of the event.

Books, reports and catalogues and a culture curriculum for schools will be published and films on various visual art, theatrical, musical, dance projects and artists will be made.

Pakistan first Opera Singer Saira Peter would also perform in the cultural shows of 13-day festival. Saira Peter sings in various languages including Urdu, English, Persian, Latin and some regional languages of Pakistan and her main focus was to lend her voice to the mystic poetry written by Muslim Sufi poets in 17th and 18th century including Baba Bullay Shah and Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and spread their message of peace and love for promoting the soft image of Pakistan in West including London.