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Students in portrait: Shoaib Iqbal – "We want to celebrate education!"

2019-03-11 The non-profit art education organization "The little Art" for children and teenagers is a matter close to the heart of the 38-year-old computer scientist. In order to further improve the educational and cultural work, the Pakistani studies the Professional Master Programme Arts and Cultural Management online at the Professional School.

"It is a blessing that after all these years I can complete a Master's programme in Arts and Cultural Management. I studied computer science at my university in Pakistan. But I only have one thing in common with the subject: a love-hate relationship. My family wanted me to have a respected and lucrative career. I tried to work professionally in computer science, but couldn't because my heart wasn't there. I always had a creative streak: my father used to own a cloth shop. I remember when I was a teenager, I used to go every day and spend a few hours there. I was less interested in helping customers and more fascinated by the designs, patterns, colors and textures around me.

Today I am a father of two children myself and have been in the business for a long time. I didn't think it would be possible to study again. But the Master Arts and Cultural Management enables me to continue working. I came across the course via the Goethe-Institut. Leuphana convinced me with its interdisciplinary approach and the possibility of studying online. I was already in Lüneburg myself and fell in love with the little town right away. In 2007 I started "The Little Art". It is a non-profit art education organization that uses culture and art to promote social values among children and young people in Pakistan. We don't want to teach, we want to celebrate education! Through innovative arts festivals and creative educational programs, we want to strengthen the self-confidence of children and young people and help them realize their dreams. Unfortunately, many children in Pakistan
often have no opportunity to work artistically. Art gives children a natural opportunity to express themselves. In this process of expression they become successful people, even with small.
Our Lahore International Children's Film Festival (LICFF) attracts almost 40,000 spectators every year. For example, children watch a foreign film and realize that the world is bigger than their imagination. They get to know people who belong to other religions or social classes. This can counteract prejudices. LICFF is also organizing a filmmaking competition for young people under the age of 18 on the themes of past years, and in 2019 the focus will be on the gender experience of children and young people. We also organize the exhibition "ArtBeat". It began in 2001 on a small scale and has since developed into a national competition. Almost 15,000 children and young people from all over Pakistan take part in the competition. Our Tamasha Festival is a performing arts festival for children and young people where they can contribute their creative expressions to the theatre. It is visited bi-annually
by almost 13,000 people, in which various schools participate. In the project "Girls' Right to Education" we were able to cooperate with UNESCO. Several teacher training workshops have been held in remote areas of Pakistan to increase girls' enrolment and retention in schools through art and activity-based learning.
My working day is challenging, but pleasant. We are a team of eleven people at "The Little Art". We talk a lot, to organize and solve problems. Sometimes I can use the afternoon to work for my studies. Everything I have learned so far at Leuphana Professional School is directly related to my work. I was just working on cultural production. It is exciting for me to see how our work fits into the historical perspective of the art and culture world. I really enjoy studying online. It's very challenging and somehow more difficult than I imagined, sometimes I go to my limits, but I like that."

Video: Mas­ter Pro­gram­me Arts and Cul­tu­ral Ma­nage­ment


Recorded by Marietta Hülsmann