By Farah Nasser
A beautiful artwork would be the deep, significant meaning behind it. This simple artwork is called “ A Human”, but once people look at it, they will understand the power of simplicity.
The drawing was done using pencils and markers on thick A3 paper that is 29,7 x 42cm. It has been placed in a frame to show its importance. The artwork speaks about how women in Islam are labeled. In the artwork, you will see a Muslim woman wearing a veil because she follows and believes in her religion. The woman is standing behind words that people have used to label the women in a veil and all those words whether they are good, bad or wrong have built a brick wall around her. As seen in the artwork, the woman is trying to break the wall and come out to the world and show everyone that she is a human like any other human.
The words used in the artwork where hand written by people from different nationalities. This particular artwork was placed in a public place with a marker and a board next to it that said “Write the first word that comes to your mind when you see a woman in a veil.” The SmartLife Foundation that started a fund in Dubai to help some of the worker’s children to get an education and follow their dreams inspired this idea. The foundation got people’s attention quickly because people didn’t just pass by and walk away. People stood and helped build the awareness by pinning a nail to the board that was set in Dubai, and this helped catch people’s attention. Once people interact with something, they will always remember it and that was behind this artwork. People had to be aware of how women are treated all around the globe.
I have chosen to put a woman wearing a veil after seeing Khaliq, Alizada, an Afghan artist who spoke about women’s right and wanted the women in his country that wear a burka to represent it. “There’s a lack of rights and injustice,” Khaliq said. After asking many people, he felt that these women were feeling lonely; therefore he has added colors in some of his work to show hope and happiness in them. In his work, most of the women are either entirely covered by the burka, or they cover their face indicating sadness. I wanted to show the opposite of that in my artwork where you see the woman in veil is actually coming out of the people of who she is and how she sees herself and not as how others label her as. I have chosen to keep the drawing black and white to show that this issue “ women in Islam” has been there for a long time and is getting worse, not better.
On the woman’s forehead the word “ Human” is written in red in both English and Arabic, telling people that she is just a human like any other human that is following their religion and beliefs. The color red was chosen because it indicated power, pain, and it is an eye-catching color. “ A Human” was created with an important message. People should stop labeling each other. We are looking for peace in Islam; therefore, Muslims should unite with each other and start changing for good, starting with the smallest things which is accepting each other the way we are, realizing that we are all equal, we are all one.