Text & Visuals | Mariam Qureshi
War is a powerful phenomenon and affects people in multiple ways. The misery of war can either cause a person to transcend himself or throw him in an abyss of misery. Along with fear and dread war also inspires a sense of nationalism, valor and a deep empathy for human suffering. The role of an artist is to express this empathy for human suffering in a creative manner that appeals to the sensibility of viewers in various ways. The work of an artist reaches beyond detachment towards human suffering and it is a human response to seeing the anguish of people. An artist delves into the agony of human suffering and celebrates it through creative output. A good example of an artistic expression towards the agony of human suffering during war can be expressed by a Bahamian artist’s drawing of a young chicken impaled on a wire fence. The raw brutality of the image conveys searing pain to the viewer when he sees it. Through time war has taken multiple connotations: be it a civil war, a revolt, a man-made disaster or war against terrorism. Post-war inspired art has been a salient subject and has been dealt with extensively in ways which are unique and even unimaginable. History has artists who have been affected by war personally at varying levels and hence art is a seed from which has blossomed great art. A comprehensive timeline narrates how great disasters lead to great art. The womb of human suffering gives birth to brilliant art which has withstood time and age in its greatness.
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