Female Muslim Cartoonist To Teach, Exhibit Artwork At Colorado College - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


Nigar Nazar in Colorado Springs to enrich understanding of Islamic world

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Sept. 23, 2009 – Nigar Nazar, the first woman cartoonist of Pakistan, and very likely the entire Muslim world, will be visiting Colorado College as a Fulbright Visiting Specialist: Direct Access to the Muslim World. She will be in Colorado Springs through Oct. 24.

The role of the Fulbright Visiting Specialists program is to help American colleges and universities and their surrounding communities enrich their understanding of Islam, its societies and cultures.

While at Colorado College, Nazar will team-teach a course titled “Freedom and Authority in Everyday Life: Women, Men and Children in the Middle East” with CC Assistant History Professor Jane Murphy.

She also will be participating in a variety of academic and cultural learning opportunities with community partners such as the Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs World Affairs Council, local high schools, Air Force Academy and Fine Arts Center.

Two upcoming events include:

  • 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30: Cartoonists’ Spiritual Journeys — Nazar and Corb Hillam, the CC campus minister for International Anglican Church, will host a conversation about the spiritual journeys of two cartoon artists. This event is part of the Spiritual Journeys Series and is sponsored by the CC Chaplains’ Office., Colorado College, Shove Memorial Chapel, 1010 N. Nevada Ave., free.
  • Sept. 29-Oct. 21: An exhibit of Nazar’s work at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, with a public gallery talk at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15; Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale St.

Nazar, whose father was in the Foreign Service, discovered cartoons and comics while the family was posted in the United States, and upon return to Pakistan, she wanted to create a female cartoon figure. "It was important for me to infuse a woman's voice into the cartoon world, which was male-dominated globally," she said.

And so Gogi (pronounced Go-ghee) was born. Through Gogi, Nazar speaks out against socially taboo topics such as male chauvinism, domestic violence, AIDS, arranged marriage and sexual harassment. In the process, she became a symbol of the modern Muslim woman and the challenges she faces.

Nazar also is an advocate for environmental issues, and her cartoons against littering cover a number of buses in Islamabad and Lahore. “In Pakistan, where there is so much illiteracy, animation and cartoons are a compelling medium to get people's attention,” she says.

In addition to cartooning, Nazar also lectures about art as a bridge-builder, the social values of Islam, the status of women and popular misconceptions about the arts, culture and social society in Islam. She uses humor and impromptu cartooning in her lectures to demonstrate her points.

Nazar was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and received a degree in fine arts from Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. She has received commendations and honors from organizations such as UNICEF, UNDP, Media Watch Newsletter, Bishtek International School, The Word Festival of Australia, Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women's Association for her efforts on behalf of education and women’s rights. She served as a Fulbright Professor in the art department of the University of Oregon in 2002-03.

The Fulbright Visiting Specialist Program: Direct Access to the Muslim World is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State and administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,975 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu <http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu>.