ISLAMABAD: Pak Afghan Youth Forum (PAYF) held a cross-border media dialogue through video conferencing between notable entertainment media professionals from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Pak Afghan Entertainment Webinar is the 6th in a series of webinars hosted by PAYF and the natural follow-up to last month’s Media Conclave.
The webinar brought together entertainment media professionals from Afghanistan and Pakistan, with some notable names from each country, to discuss the current state of the entertainment industries of both countries.
The webinar was solution-oriented, with the panels focused on the industries’ potential for growth and betterment. The benefits of separating entertainment from political tensions, and seizing opportunities for cooperation, collaboration, and joint-ventures were discussed.
The Keynote Guest Speaker was Talha Ali Kushvaha, the Executive Director of Lok Virsa who himself is a cultural activist and curator.
He said that Pakistani and Afghan media must collaborate as artistic collaboration is very positive and is also non-threatening towards other international and political ties.
The prominent Pakistani panel included Farheen Chaudhry (writer), Sidra Iqbal (TV Journalist/Host), Habib Paracha (Hollywood Film Producer), and Qaiser Ali (CEO Nashpati Prime). The Afghan panel included notable media names such as Bijan Siyamek, Khalid Amiri, Atefeh Amini, and Obaidullah Baheer.
Both panels agreed that entertainment and media industries should collaborate regardless of political ties between the states and that the lack of relatable, indigenous media, especially in Afghanistan, was creating room for third parties to spin different narratives through entertainment.
The importance of owning and portraying our own local content and stories were highlighted. The need to come together for the sake of the youth, as well as the potential for the youth to guide the effort, was also discussed. The significance of the entertainment media overall and the need to create safe spaces for art in both countries was also highlighted.
The nature of the event allowed the panelists to discuss challenges openly, and interact with each other. There was a mutual will to cooperate and Pak Afghan Youth Forum is a youth-focused think tank that looks forward to holding more webinars and events addressing areas of mutual importance and cooperation to facilitate stronger relations between both countries.