Headline April 16, 2017/ ''' *WAR - FESTIVAL - !WOW!* '''

''' *WAR - FESTIVAL - !WOW!* '''

THE TRUTH IS, AND ALLOW ME,  to give it to you all straight. Without Fear or Favor, that for peace, harmony, and benevolence :

*The  *Whole  World*  should be ashamed, at what it has or has not done, measured against what it could do*.

In the very history of most nations, there crawls in a phase,  where a conflict in the offing has always been, and always will be,  the prime concern.

As the  American Naval Fleet  heads for  North Korean waters, the world holds its breath and simmers in anxiety and fear. 

The World Students Society, lovingly called  !WOW!.  watches the situation minute to minute, and discerns and offers both reason for hope and evidence of utter chaos,  confusion.     

*The Ghost of War*  is  always there, lurking in the shadows, in the darkness. War resides in the very soul of the world. War never dies. It just changes residences.

Here at the World Students Society, as the idea and specter of war looms, I turn to great thinkers in the artists for inspiration and solace. 

Once again, here, at the host's , Proud Pakistan, I recall that many years ago, a cartoonist published a drawing in which a man in torn clothes was sitting on a dilapidated wooden cot, -surrounded by broken windows, and  a picture of utter poverty-

A rope was tied around his neck whose other end was tied to the ceiling fan. He was shown waiting in front of a television screen, that was about to begin broadcasting a  Live  cricket match between Pakistan and India.

It illustrated how critical a  cricket contest  between the two neighbouring countries is. any sporting event involving these two countries is simply a matter of  life and death, a great substitute for war.

For Pakistan, defeating India in a match is a cause for huge celebration, likewise, having either one of them beaten by the other is a national crisis  -because the two countries  -sadly, and tragically,   have been to a few wars with each other in their brief history of independence.

Artist Ayaz Jokhio recognizes that countries clash with each other on playgrounds rather than at sensitive borders. In his work, cut-outs of varied sportsmen are displayed in a line-

And each figure is made of  black & white  images of soldiers from World War 1, [WW1]. the work, titled,   Moral Equivalent of War  was part of the one recent  exhibition.

There have been previous displays of these works in  Bangalore, Kochi, Berlin and Karachi, including artists from various regions specially those that participated in WW1.

These were based on using archives of WW1 or reflecting upon the idea/history of war.

A considerable number of artists came from countries like India, Pakistan, Algeria that were colonised by the Western Imperial Powers.

In the first half of twentieth century, the forefathers of those artists were involved, rather enrolled, in a dispute beyond their homeland and without their consent.

the latter generation of image makers from colonised countries reacted to a war that has a misnomer like World War. The WW1 was fought among powers from Europe and Japan, but the world at large did not have any stake in that conflict.

For example, a peasant from Rawalpindi/Pakistan or Patiala/India did not have any reason to go to battle against Germany, Austro Hungarian Empire and Ottoman Empire, or in favor of Britain, Italy, France and Russia.

It was only due to  colonial rule  that men were recruited and served at far-off  territories. *It shows how a people, if disposed of their identity, become a tool in establishing the  imperial agenda*.

However, the army men collaborating with their European superiors in the WW1, as  narrated by  Sarnath Banerjee in his drawings, were barred from fighting on the front in Europe because the possibility of-

killing a white person by a coloured soldier was unacceptable under a strict code of racial etiquettes.

In one of his  black & white  drawings, Banerjee points out this aspect. But by and large his installation  was  ''about the hundreds and thousands of books that have not been written about the Indian soldiers' experience in the war.''

The story that  Sarnath  Banerjee , the leading   graphic novelist   of  India, refers to is an account shared by many others. 

Racial discrimination encountered by  Indian soldiers  is a subject for Ayisha  Abraham, a  Bangalore based artist. She has used personal archives of her grandfather who took part in the WW1.

In her collages and photographs   -components of the mixed media installation............the telegraph now rings full speed    -Abraham recreates multiple narratives of a native soldier fighting in far-off fields; hence the colour of skin is a major issue in photographic representation.

The exhibition was an effort to present voices that have been  lost or  never acknowledged in the main discourse of  WW1.

Patriotic speeches of political leaders   - after their expiry dates   -turn more rhetoric. whereas the reaction of ordinary people affected by the atrocities of war have a  longer and lasting  life, because-

It hits the chords of people  who suffer the separation from their loved ones, and pray for their return.

Chasing History:

The World Students Society,  through its Master Global Publication :.... Sam Daily Times  : *The Voice of the Voiceless*   appeals to President Donald J Trump and  North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un to avoid war at all cost.

Students : Merium, Rabo, Haleema, Zilli,  Ambassador Malala [Nobel Prize]. Dee, Saima, Eman, Armeen,  Sarah, Hussain, Salar, Bilal, Jordan, Toby/China, Reza/Canada Haider, Faizan to meet up on:

Facebook, and mull all options, in case of war. And have Zilli,  Keep me fully informed.

With respectful dedication to all the Leaders, Parents, Professors and teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Quest & Peace '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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