Art Exhibition Pays Tribute to Malala Yousafzai


A trio of talented artists showcase their artworks in a project inspired by a heroine of girls’ education. By Afia R Fitriati. Photos by Aiysha Malik.

Art Exhibition Pays Tribute to Malala Yousafzai_Aquila Style

The story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for campaigning in support of girls’ education, has inspired three Canadian-based artists to collaborate on an art project currently on display at Daniel Spectrum (formerly known as Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre) in Toronto.

Aptly titled ‘Bullets to Butterflies’, the exhibition consists of around a dozen artworks created by Huma Durrani, Unaiza Karim and Saba Syed. Each piece showcases the creative talents of its artist while conveying a message reflective of its iconic subject of focus.

One artwork in the exhibit features butterflies carrying calligraphies of the word ‘iqra’ (read), the first word revealed in the Qur’an. Another artwork, ‘The Bullet Wall’, is an interactive wall where attendees can place their messages of hope and inspiration in the bullet holes.

‘We thought the best way to convey our horror and hope for change in this circumstance would be through visual expression. Combining traditional and modern art forms, our work explores darker themes surrounding the war waged against the innocent,’ say the three artists on the Bullets to Butterflies website. ‘Through visual and written expression we hope to create a pathway to metamorphosis from bullets to butterflies.’

Bullets to Butterflies is on exhibit at Daniel Spectrum until May 30. Exhibition attendees can also purchase memento necklaces made of bullet casings that are transformed into butterflies at the venue. The proceeds of this exhibition will be donated to DIL (Developments in Literacy) Canada, an agency that works to provide girls in Pakistan with proper education. To learn more about this art project, visit the Bullets to Butterflies website.

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