Monday, April 20, 2015

Terrorism Has No Religion

 Shriya Sanjev

The image is created using Adobe Photoshop and square Kufic script. The script has been exaggerated to fit the shape of a Mosque to represent the Muslim community; it is a form of symbolism. The image is rendered in JPEG with dimensions of 2000 x 2000 pixels, and 72 dpi. The background is an image of crushed paper merged with an image of plain brown paper to enhance the crumpled look.

The title has great significance to my project, and it relates directly to my message. I have chosen to title my project as “Terrorism Has No Religion”, which is written in both square Kufic script and English for everyone to understand. The meaning behind it is very simple, Islam is not directly linked to terrorism, in other words terrorism is secular, and follows no religion whatsoever.

My project is based on the most common stereotype against Islam, which is terrorism. It is believed that all Muslims are terrorists but with the aid of my project I want to help deconstruct this very stereotype. I have been an avid supporter of the Muslim community and this is primarily because I have been residing in a Muslim country all my life and I consider this place my home even though I am not Muslim myself. Living amongst the Muslim community, I have first hand experience towards the kindness and generosity extended to us foreigners and non-Muslims by welcoming us into their homeland. My main aim is to educate people on the basic principle of terrorism, that is, it is secular. Secular means following no religion, there is no specific religion followed by terrorists, they range from Hindus and Muslims to Christians and Jews etc. If we observe from a literal point of view, almost every religion houses terrorists but this is not the basis of terrorism; terrorism is based on power and authority, not religion. 

One of my inspirations is the visual artist Shirin Neshat. She is an Iranian visual artist who is based in New York and works mainly with film, video and photography. She uses the art of calligraphy with monochromatic photography to show women empowerment. She also uses Islamic art in her work to undermine the stereotypes against Islam. Some of her work can be seen at the world reknowned Guggenheim museum in New York.

I am a junior in the American University in Dubai, studying Visual Communication with my focus on Graphic Design. My degree is a direct representation of what I try to portray with my artwork, I want to communicate with people visually. Coming from India, I have an appreciation for beauty and a keen sense for color and design. My personality is quite a colorful palette in itself, I am always vibrant and on the lookout to meet new people. I want to make my mark on people with my work, but also touch them on a human level.

Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent." - Dalai Lama

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