Photo-exhibition at Lahore Museum highlights UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

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As many as 102 photographs captured by the photo-journalists of the international news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) from different parts of the world were put on display on Tuesday in a photo exhibition jointly organized by the AFP, European Union, and United Nations Information Centre with the support of French Embassy in Pakistan and the Lahore Museum.

The photo exhibition will remain open for two weeks at the Lahore City Heritage Museum and will conclude on April 21.

Titled ‘Pakistan: Sustaining Development, Human stories through photography’, the exhibition aptly highlights the 17 goals of sustainable development that the United Nations has vowed to achieve by 2030.

No poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and partnerships for the goals are the main themes of the 102 photographs on display, and revolve around the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations.

A large number of people from different walks of life including university students, foreign diplomats, civil society and artists thronged to the exhibition on the first day and lauded the efforts of the photo-journalists who have captured some of the most fascinating moments in their photographs.

Psychiatrist Dr Muhammad Adil Makhdoomi, a visitor, told Pakistan Today that he was not aware about some of the realities of Pakistan and that the photo exhibition had given him insights regarding the country. “I knew that most of the rural areas of Pakistan did not have clean drinking water but today’s exhibition showed me even that many urban parts of the country lack clean water,” he said, referring to a photograph that in which women were walking in a outskirt area of Lahore carrying the water pots on their heads. Such exhibitions tell us about the hidden aspects of life and leave an unforgettable memory in our minds, Dr Makhdoomi said.

Hussain Ahmed, a student of Government College University, told this scribe that he had always heard that a picture was worth a thousand words but had only realized the truth of the saying after viewing the exhibition. “We can feel the suffering of the kiln workers, people affected by floods and plagued with hunger, and the crisis of refugees by seeing this photo exhibition,” he said.

The Ambassador of France to Pakistan Martine Dorance inaugurated the photo exhibition and threw light on the importance of the sustainable development goals. Other dignitaries who spoke at the occasion about their roles in the exhibition included United Nations Information Center Director Vittorio Cammarota, AFP Bureau Chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan Amelie Herenstein, European Union Head of Cooperation Delegation Bernard Francois, and Lahore Museum Director Humayun Mazhar.