Education & Culture

A glimpse of Afghanistan in India

“Afghanistan – A land in conflict and hope” is the title of a rare art exhibition that was held at the India International Centre in New Delhi. To showcase a country that has taught the world the real meaning of resilience during some of the most trying times in modern political history, there could not have been a more apt title.
May 29, 2018
By Lekshmi Parameswaran 
 
“Afghanistan – A land in conflict and hope” is the title of a rare art exhibition that was held at the India International Centre in New Delhi. To showcase a country that has taught the world the real meaning of resilience during some of the most trying times in modern political history, there could not have been a more apt title.
 
The paintings done by a group of artists from the Senai Art School in Afghanistan reflect the despair as well as the aspirations of its people. Since the fall of the Taliban regime in December 2011, there has been a resurgence of art and culture in the country. Artisans have been taking their work to different parts of the world to spread the message across that beyond the bloodshed Afghanistan as so much more to offer as opposed to the image portrayed by the conventional media.
 
At the exhibition, the paintings of Bamiyan Buddha destroyed by the Taliban brought back the melancholy of the times the country was entirely under the militant group’s rule. However, the vibrant paintings of a bazaar or that of a smiling Afghan spread the message of hope and positivity.
 
Pointing to two particular paintings, Mohammad Salim Attale, one of the artists whose works have been exhibited, said, “The painting, ‘the imagined city’ was drawn on a night when one of the cities in Afghanistan was mercilessly bombed by the Taliban. The use of the colour black in the painting conveys the hopelessness that I felt on that night. But soon that faded away. I understood the need to spread joy and happiness not just in Afghanistan but all over the world. The burst of colours in the painting titled ‘Forest’ is the future that I aspire for my country’.
 
Every painting displayed tells the story of endurance and optimism. It gives an excellent glimpse into a country that has faced myriad challenges but has risen above everything to tell the world that in the end it is humanity that triumphs. The exhibition is on in New Delhi till May 29, 2018.
 
(Lekshmi Parameswaran can be contacted at lekshmi.p@spsindia.in) 

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