A Photo Story On Afghanistan by Shalu Juneja: Unbelievable and disturbing images of people clamoring on to airplanes, clinging on to the wings even if it meant falling to their death below surfaced from Afghanistan. Desperate people who managed to cling on to the plane took selfies, not knowing that this would be their last. Even more disturbing was the sight of people being abandoned by their own country as their so-called saviors exited hastily leaving behind the chaos that shook the world.
As I watched in horror, I noticed not many women and children were seen in the sea of men. Their own had abandoned them to be ravaged and tortured behind. All for nothing as they fell like bits of dirt back to the Earth. It’s a well-known fact that women and children for centuries are the most vulnerable in wars created by men. The calamity that struck Afghanistan made us all realise that we have moved back generations, not only emotionally but also a race.
What was ironic, in the google images projected on our televisions, everything looked minuscule. People were almost like dots and military planes were like paper planes as if to say, that we are just a speck in the universe. Almost as if, lives didn’t matter and that was the “new normal”. I saw in the satellite images a perfect design and pattern, one of destruction and displacement.
I watched helplessly, the anger building inside me raging as the news flashed on my television screen in repeat mode and I could do nothing about the countless young females whose lives were now destroyed. I did what I could do best, emote through art. Art is a great tool of activism. It has the deepest impact and is a great tool to emote personal as well as collective public opinion.
I watched helplessly, the anger building inside me raging as the news flashed on my television screen in repeat mode and I could do nothing about the countless young females whose lives were now destroyed.
My artwork: “The Design Of Displacement”
My artwork in mixed media on paper is a diagram pen drawing with spontaneous usage of ink marks. It is an impression of the traumatic images of displacement seen in the google map as an interconnected design and pattern. The black ink and the mesh represented the tragedy of the burkha-clad women folk abandoned to an uncertain torturous future.
The need of the hour is awareness. Awareness about the intensity of the situation, enough for it to move things and make a change.
Shalu Juneja has been an artist for over 13 years and is also the director and co-founder of Uno Lona Academy. The views expressed are the author’s own.