Tackling Pakistani Corruption Through Art : The Picture Show Transparency International has focused its fight against corruption on schoolchildren — by encouraging them to express their frustrationst through art.
NPR logo Tackling Pakistani Corruption Through Art

Tackling Pakistani Corruption Through Art

How do you combat corruption in a country infiltrated by it at every level? As President Asif Ali Zardari stands accused of depositing millions in kickbacks into Swiss bank accounts, Transparency International has focused its fight on a different demographic: schoolchildren. By inviting students to tackle corruption through art, the organization hopes to stop the cycle of fraud before it starts. The following posters were some of the winners in the contest.

The collection reveals young people who are cynical beyond their years. Their visions of corruption take the form of a cheetah, a campfire and a green-faced witch. The paintings depict a powerful force that affects schools, police, judges and families. "Today people respect money more than their national flag," a translation of one poster reads.

Societal corruption leaves many children feeling helpless and depressed at an early age, Transparency International-Pakistan's executive director Saad Rashid explained via e-mail:

“Students get dejected when they are unable to get a job after completion of studies for a hard-earned degree,” he wrote. “The situation becomes worse when they see their colleagues getting jobs through contacts or bribery. They then conclude that without corruption they cannot get anywhere ... That there is no way out of this mess.”

By encouraging young people to tackle the issue creatively, Transparency International aims to help them productively channel these feelings. You can find more stories about young people in Pakistan through NPR’s Grand Trunk Road project.