(Saju Nair - Dubai) "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them." - George Bernard Shaw. He was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. The pandemic has affected all of humanity and frankly, hearing the word "COVID19' has become tiring and vexatious. Initially, when the news of this virus was found everywhere, there was mass panic and worry. The people were terrified of what this virus would do to them and most were in a state of shock. As time passed, we found it easier to cope and gradually adjusted to this life of masks and maintaining physical distance, but adapting doesn't mean accepting. Even now, humanity is steering its ship through rough seas but we keep our heads held high and continue to fight this pandemic. With this positive outlook, we will emerge out of this difficult phase and start to truly appreciate the little things in life. The quote by George Bernard Shaw, which was mentioned above has got immense relevance in this report. A young talented Indian artist residing in The United Arab Emirates has effectively used this crisis to build a platform that has gained significant acceptance in the art world.

Mohammed Aadil Kallivalappil with his younger brother Fadil

During the lock down period, Mohammed Aadil Kallivalappil, an 18-year-old student pursuing his education in grade 13 with GEMS Cambridge International School, came out with an inspiring idea of hosting a platform for the youth of the country to showcase their talents in art. With a clear vision and a set objective, Aadil launched an online art gallery and named it 'Youth Expressions' and just as the name represents, this platform was built with a mission to provide a space for the youth population to express themselves without the fear of judgement. It is a space for them to learn, create and explore different avenues. This platform was officially launched on 5th February 2020 at the Middle East Youth Expo.

When I first discovered this young talent through social media, I was greatly intrigued and decided that I would learn more about their activities and programs. Through various telephonic conversations with the young Aadil, it was clear that his ideas were well planned out and his thought process was simply brilliant. He was eager to learn more about art and at the same time he wanted to share what he learned through his platform while bringing up other young aspiring talents. I could really sense the caliber of this young entrepreneur and so we carried on with our discussions. Strategically speaking, the functioning of Youth Expressions is segregated into three sectors. An online gallery, Artpod which focuses on radio podcasts and also an art education program. For our readers to know more about this initiative, I am pleased to share some points from my discussion with the emerging talent who is on the right track with an ambition to support and promote art. UAE is rich with the presence of enormous galleries and what attracts me the most is the courage of an 18-year-old to rise against the odds and explore possibilities by utilizing his god gifted talent.

ArtPod - ArtPod is a radio podcast station for visual artists to talk about art and have their voice heard. This platform is initiated with an aim to share interesting facts from the art world by incorporating art stories and artist interviews and many more of such programs. The station, ArtPod can be heard on different podcast streaming platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, PocketCasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts and RadioPublic. "The idea of ArtPod came from a thought that struck my mind when I was listening to the radio. What if there was a radio podcast station solely meant for visual artists as television and radio stations are mostly taken over by performing arts. We have designed this platform in such a way that it's easily accessible to everyone and can be heard at their convenience. We thought of this as a creative way to reach out to the public and so we decided to go ahead with it. The show is scripted by myself and is hosted by my brother, Fadil, who is a 9th grade student. As of now, we have hosted 15 episodes by engaging with local and international artists." Says Aadil. Please click on the below link to hear the radio podcasts -

Artworks displayed @Virtual art exhibition

Youth Expressions Art Gallery aims towards exhibiting the works of youth artists. The first exhibition of the Gallery tilted 'Art by Youth' was held at the Middle East Youth Expo 2020. This event had approximately 35 artists from schools and universities across the UAE exhibiting their artworks. Since there were restrictions on holding physical exhibitions to avoid the further spread of COVID19, they decided to keep the art scene alive by holding virtual gatherings. To commemorate the celebration of the 49th National day of The United Arab Emirates, a virtual event was conducted on 01st December 2020 wherein 9 young enthusiastic artists occupied the center stage and displaying some of their breathtaking creations.

The event was inaugurated by Mr. Peter Gressmann, a famous Art Historian/ Art Critic / Art Dealer and the founder of artforumuae. During his inaugural address, he congratulated the initiative taken by Aadil and later in his report which was published on various social media platforms, Mr. Peter mentioned "Young aspiring artists are in the starting blocks! Today I witnessed how the young platform "Youth Expressions" presented the first online exhibition on the UAE National Day. The founder of this platform is the only 18 year old Mohammed Aadil Kallivalappil and himself a talented artist. He is supported by his 14-year-old brother who already has his own radio channel and confidently took over the moderation of the exhibition. The platform is still in its infancy but I am sure it has a great and bright future."

Artworks displayed @Virtual art exhibition

The participating artists were aged between 16-21 and that freshness of ideas and vivid techniques were clearly visible in the artworks that was displayed. Mahra Al Neyadi, Varsha Saju Nair, Shaikha Alhmoudi, Najna Basheer, Shamsa Al Muhaya, Fatima Al Hashemi, Fatima Hamad Al Khatri, and Saeed Shames AlKaabi joined hands with Mohammed Aadil, the Founder of Youth Expressions, and his energetic brother, Fadil to give life to an inspiring event. Please click the link below to experience the artworks created by these young and enthusiastic teenagers.

They are also in the process of creating a dedicated platform for Art Education Channel with an aim to provide opportunities for artists to learn and hone their art skills and to get inspired by watching artist documentaries and art tutorials. This platform is still in the designing phase and is expected to roll out in 2021.

Artworks displayed @Virtual art exhibition

"It is my passion for arts that led me to dream and think about this idea. The idea was developed, executed and officially launched at the Middle East Youth Expo 2020 by ONE Communications and Marketing Group at Twofour54, Abu Dhabi, UAE. We are really happy to experience the positive feedback and appreciations from the art world and this encouragement will surely motivate us to design and execute more projects as we go long." Says inspiring youth icon, Mohammed Aadil Kallivalappil, who won the prestigious award of the Young Leader of the Year of Art, Fashion and Culture of Middle East Youth Expo 2020.

As was mentioned earlier, UAE is rich with numerous active galleries who are persistently conducting phenomenal art gatherings and consequently raising hopes and expectations for coming events. It is a need to specifically honor the young, energetic and talented youth for coming forward with their fresh ideas and for playing a role in building a healthy competition in the art fraternity that can lead to the exploration of new inspiring concepts. It is difficult for a young entrepreneur to sail through seas of highly professional figures but the young Mohammed Aadil Kallivalappil has proven that anything is possible as long as you have that drive and motivation to cut through the ocean and achieve greatness.

We at Iltelevisonario2 extends all our support and best wishes to the entire team of 'Youth Expressions'.

As we approach the festive day of Christmas and the glorious beginning of a new year, I, Saju Nair and Alessandra Giorda are pleased to extend our best wishes to all our savant readers from across the globe. Let us all cautiously celebrate the joyous day of Christmas and fill our hearts with love, compassion and happiness as we enter the glorious new year.

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