Savant Artist artJamila Kickstarts
BAC’s IWD Week 

#BACIncludes – this was the theme that was picked to resonate throughout the entire week, as the BAC Education Group celebrated International Women’s Day. Emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in education and the workforce, various events and activities were organized to highlight the achievements and contributions of women in different fields. The main goal of this event, which tied with this year’s IWD theme #InspireInclusion was to inspire students and staff to embrace diversity and work towards creating a more inclusive environment for everyone. 

On the first day of BAC's IWD Week, we were graced with the presence and talent of Wan Jamila Wan Shaiful Bahri, or better known professionally as artJamila. 

Jamila is a verbally-limited autistic artist whose paintings speak volumes about her inner world and emotions. Despite facing challenges with communication, her art serves as a powerful form of self-expression and connection with others. This young lady, who started doodling at the age of 4, is a self-taught artist who uses art as her platform to voice her expression.  

While she was growing, Jamila’s mother realised that her daughter was special. Although she was unable to speak, Jamila had a unique way of communicating through gestures and expressions that showed her intelligence and understanding. Jamila's silence did not diminish her capabilities, but rather highlighted her extraordinary abilities. 

That is why Jamila's mother left her job as an architect to dedicate herself full-time to understanding and nurturing Jamila's talents. She believed that with the right support and encouragement, her daughter could achieve great things. Sadly, Jamila’s mother passed on in 2023, leaving behind a legacy of love and dedication to her daughter's potential. Jamila continues to honour her mother's memory by pursuing her passions and dreams with determination and resilience.

Jamila is now managed by her aunt, Noor Sa’adah Mohd Noordin, and is also taken care of by her sister, Wan Jemima, who writes poems, which sometimes accompany her sister’s artworks. Together, they create a beautiful synergy of words and visuals that capture the essence of their shared experiences and emotions. Jamila's artwork continues to resonate with audiences, touching hearts and inspiring others to pursue their own creative endeavors.

On Monday, 11th March, as Jamila’s aunt and a helper set up art pieces at the Ground Floor lobby of BAC PJ Campus, they were greeted by a steady stream of curious onlookers admiring Jamila’s work. The vibrant colours and intricate details of the pieces sparked conversations and created a lively atmosphere in the lobby. Many who dropped by to browse were in awe at Jamila’s amazing talent, expressing their admiration through compliments and questions about her creative process.  

The mini art exhibition on the ground floor was definitely a success, leaving a lasting impression on those who attended.  

Towards the later part of the evening, the exhibition moved to BACPAC, to coincide with the launch of BAC’s IWD Week. There, attendees were privileged to watch a live painting session by Jamila, followed by a panel discussion featuring 3 inspiring women in their respective industries:
Shamini Flint (Law graduate and Author, known for her crime fiction novel series Inspector Singh Investigates)
- Tunku Mona Riza (Multiple award-winning Film Director known for her movie Redha, and most recently, Raintown), and
- Amanda Kong (a visually impaired Law graduate who is now MIRM’s Community Development Manager). 

Indeed, Day 1 was a good start to what was in store for the rest of the week, with a diverse range of events and activities planned to celebrate and empower women from all walks of life. The exhibition at BACPAC was just the beginning of a series of inspiring and thought-provoking events that would continue throughout the week. 

Item 1 of 12