art, article, Donald Trump, HATRED, Journalism, social media, Uncategorized

Creative Resistance- How Art is fighting back Donald Trump

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Illma Gore knows that these words hold water. Having suffered backlash for her nude portrait with a micro-penis of the now incumbent President of the United States, Donald Trump, she began work on a piece of art, painted with human blood– 20 pints donated by those who share her cause- in association with activist collective INDECLINE as a protest against the election. Hers is not the sole crusade against the anti-feminist, anti-inclusion tainted president who now reigns as the leader of the free world. Another prominent artist, Shepard Fairey, released three politically charged posters, featuring an African-American, a Muslim and Latino women, titled “We the People”. All the three religious/ethnic groups had previously come under ire from the erstwhile presidential candidate, and Fairey felt the need to visually depict the same, in order to highlight their imminent vulnerability under his administration.

Another piece of art came under the political spotlight and it belonged to Richard Prince, an artist whose Instagram picture featuring Ivanka Trump, had earned him a $36000 bounty. In an act of protest, he denounced the work and returned the payment. His argument stated that as a means of an honest protest, he had to exercise his discretion regarding the Trumps, and that they ’are not art.’ Mr. Trump himself is apparently not an art person at all, his government planning on drastic cuts in the spending,including a probable elimination of National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, The Hill reported. The massive outburst against the palpable concerns of a population that considers the election as a national catastrophe is majorly pivoted around the same issue, if not having stemmed from it.

What prompts these protests? Such a collective response to an election, on a scale that has never been witnessed before, prompts an intense soul-searching, although it doesn’t take long for the water to boil. The populace that voted against Trump and his policies are now trying to galvanize fear and angst against his election and stand in opposition to his decrees. Many artists supported a strike on January 20th, which called for an “act of non-compliance” and urged museums, galleries, theatres and galleries to remain closed for the day. The J20 Art Strike witnessed response from places around the country albeit in different ways. While mass outspoken dissent has taken over the stage prior and following the election result, those whose voices have no public platform for outcry have taken to social media and visual medium to cut across barriers. Dozens of banners with messages of inclusivity and anti-racism adorned the buildings across Philadelphia and Atlanta on the Inauguration day.

All the dissenters speak one tongue, inspite of different mediums which emphasizes non-acceptance of divisive attitude, corrosive of the ideas of equality enshrined in a democracy. The paradigm shift in the concept of identity and the argument of white supremacy that underlines Trump’s narrative is the fodder that fuels the artistic cannons, whose call for arms is loud, distinct and unavoidable.

cover picture: fusion.net

article, HATE, TERRORISM, Uncategorized

THE COLOUR OF HUMAN DECLINE

Stephen Hawking lists rise of artificial intelligence as one of the threats to human species because once robots reach a stage of independent evolution, their conscious goals and desires may be unpredictably different from ours. However, with the rising beast-like behavior in the form of insane cruelty towards humans and animals alike, by humans themselves, it appears that we won’t have to wait a millennium to witness a catastrophic decline in human civilization as an evolved species. We might as well turn time and go back the good ol’ ape ways.

Incidents of terrorism can be discussed in the wake of recent attacks in Baghdad, Dhaka, Turkey, Medina and many other states which came under fire from terrorist groups or even home-grown militant outfits. As I am coerced into taking off my glass of optimism and say that this was an act by misguided religious fanatics, I do believe that these events have a colour. And it is Red.

I see Red each time I read such incidents and worry for the sake of all those affected. I see myself in the 19 year old girl who lost her life to the colour of religion. Or in fact, to the colour of human decline. We have been degraded to a state of no self conscience; where a verse from a religious text is the tight rope on which the condemned walk; which decides the value of one life over another. If they are fighting in the name of some deity, do they believe that human creation is an act of the divine and the value of human life must not be the prerogative of certain individuals whose religion supposedly surpasses ours in value? I don’t condemn Islam. No religion is at fault. No text teaches brutality but these acts are committed by brainwashed groups of psychopaths. Nobel Prize winning Physicist and atheist Stephen Weinberg said: “for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” It is ironical that I cite a quote that speaks in opposition to my belief but I do it because that is the most easily assumed reason behind any act of mass violence.

It has come to light that some of the attackers were educated elites, one even being the son of a politician. While extremist ideologies of a secular nature can be regarded as one of the primary causes of terrorism, political factors are not far behind. Under the garb of religion, many turn to such extreme measures due to political or even personal reasons.

I kept my nose close to newspaper articles and comments made by individuals on this matter. One comments criticized the events, clearly lamenting the degeneration of Muslim ideology, asking what kind of Muslims would kill Muslims and others in the holy season of Ramadan. I almost laughed. Is this what all our education and calls of secularism come to? It is despicable on the part of a person to question the actions of member of a community, expressing concern over the time of the year.  Will you have taken the pain with a grain of salt had it happened, say, around September maybe? This is precisely the reason I don’t question religion. Religion is only a garb for a polished external existence, while internal hatred spews such measures under personal misguided fanaticism.

It is however true that certain factions have misinterpreted sections of a holy text and thus unleashed a volley of social destruction and hatred. It is a matter of great concern that humans have been reduced to mindless machines that are out to kill their own kind. Is the cost of human evolution so diminutive that it flows in the streets unhindered?

Complexities of the causes of terrorism are widely known and accepted. But no cause can change the face of the result. It is besmirched with Red. No homage can bring back the dead. The only acceptable compensation would be to unearth the root of this evil, unmask the face that hides behind religion or any other origin, and fight it from ground up.

 

HATE, LOVE, MISPLACED FEELINGS, Poem

DOUBT’S DREADFUL DEED

She shifts through the cracks,
and makes home in the shacks;
of feelings in those tendrils weak,
in sinew holding to the strength it seeks.

Doubt makes her way up to the Heart,
playing  on its mysterious part,
as shouts and screams reach cacaphonous highs
She pats her back,and grins more wide!

Hatred seeks to place himself where once
Feelings dwelled, bowing to none.
They have long deserted the splendid ways
of lovely walks and silly word plays.

Love is shunned out of his seat,
Jealousy moves in, swiftly meets
the despicable residents of the forlorn town
Called heart,which now breathes no sound.

Doubt’s done her deed, celebrations begin,
the shunned inmates cry out in vain
for some respite, to the one they belong,
unaware of the Love gone wrong.