By Dana Kachlan
Hello, meet Dana Kachlan. A Lebanese girl who is always up for a little adventure and experiencing the new. And that is one of the reasons why she chose to major in Creative Advertising at the American University in Dubai. She saw that through her projects, she’d never fall into a routine since one idea is completely different than the other. Dana has two principles that she follows in her work and life practice. First, she credits that details are the foundation of everything. She believes that we are a detail in society, and based on that, she created an entire campaign called “Al Tafseel Al Fasel” or “The Defining Detail.” Second, she believes that the filtering of words could save lives. When angry, she stays silent, revises her thoughts and words, and then speaks. Those two principles helped her stay focused, organized, and sane at all times. Who knew it was that easy? Since Dana is always up to try new activities, over the years she grasped a couple of interests such as: Law, Calculus, Philosophy, Psychology, and Event planning. Interesting fact about Dana: In school, Dana would always excel in Calculus but failed to impress in Geometry. Weird right? As for her hobbies, she enjoys photography, basketball, fitness, drawing, and music.
"When you are angry, be silent,” a Hadith said by Prophet Mohammed PBUH. We create war and blame the consequences on each other. We live our lives in constant fear of not knowing when the next war is about to happen. Or even sadder, we live in war zones or even hear about them over the news on a daily basis. War happens to be the norm now a day, as peace comes once every now and then. If only people knew how to communicate, maybe we could be living in a better world today and everyday. It is
said that humans have it in them to promote war but if only we read and searched more we would know that the Prophet himself asked us not to hurt each other, not only through weapons but not even with words. Then we have Jesus who promotes peace and love through the bible and his sayings. If our religions tell us to make peace, love one another, and understand each other, then where are we going wrong? What is it that is making us fall back to war repeatedly. To bring the attention to the topic of War and peace, I thought the hadith "When you are angry, be silent" said by the Prophet Mohammed PBUH best illustrates the matter. This Hadith inspires me to be a better person today and everyday. It makes me think twice before I communicate. It teaches me how to be a nicer person. What really made me want to bring attention to this Hadith are two factors. The first is the fact that I am a great believer of the filtering of words. During an argument, I usually practice revising my words before throwing them out to avoid making a mountain out of a molehill or even to avoid hurting the other person. Both ways, we end up feeling guilt when having said something unkind or despicable so why not take the time to amend and filter the words before saying them? I also realized that the whole process of modifying the words said help a person become more tolerant, patient, and in control. I truly think any relationship would be better if barely anything mean was to come out of anyone's mouth. If we revise our words, we get to explain them in a sensible and an understandable way, which would lead to a mature conversation rather than an argument or a fight. The second factor is that the entire Hadith is not meant to spread peace in Islam only but it is also meant to be shared among all religions and races around the world. We aren't put in this world to fight each other. We aren't meant to despise each other. The least we can do is be at peace if we don't want to love one another.
As for the artwork itself, I created an A2 sized canvas that has the Hadith mentioned above written on it using both styles of pop art and Kufic calligraphy. The entire artwork is drawn by the use of basics such as a black marker for the words outlines, colored markers to fill in the words, and paper, which is wrinkled to get the message across. So I wouldn’t call the artwork a painting, instead, it is a drawing that encounters specific styles to help get the message of War and peace across. Each and every stylistic choice will be explained in the next few lines. So first, let’s begin by discussing the Kufic script. I decided to choose it not only because I was inspired by it after the MEST class workshop and wanted to explore it further more, but also I thought it emphasized how long ago the quote has been there for the people to acknowledge and be inspired by. The Kufic style is one of the earliest forms of calligraphy and hence I thought writing the Hadith in that style would estimate the age of its existence.
Second, as for the aesthetic choice of wrinkling the paper, it was not an option that I thought of first, but as I was mounting the paper onto the board, I saw that it would make far more sense if the paper was wrinkled since it conveyed destruction which meant war while the Hadith itself spoke peace. That way we have war and peace conveyed through one artwork yet peace wins since it comes on top of the war (Hadith over the wrinkled paper.) Every stylistic style has a reason behind it, which makes the entire artwork have representations that are both realistic and a metaphorical. Third, stylistically I wanted to bring out a style that I very much admire and usually apply to most of my art, which is pop art. First, I wouldn't say an artist influenced me, but rather by the entire movement, which helped me create this artwork along with many that, I have previously done. I realized whenever the subject is very dear to me, I tend to use pop art as my style and hence since this topic is something I truly follow I wanted to manage and make it work with the pop art style. I thought the use of colors brings life to any topic, turning a sad subject into something less harsh or at least gets a message across in a more subtle way. Second, usually each color on its own represents an emotion. But for this project I wanted to unite all emotions on one canvas to portray the idea of peace. In a way that turns peace into an emotion. The unification of almost all the colors on one canvas could also mean the emergence of all religions and all races. Whether it was the Kufic style that was used to emphasize how long the hadith has been around for, or the wrinkly paper to show that peace dominates war, or the use of vibrant, happy colors to bring joy to the idea of unification, all aspects were meant to lead to the idea of peace and that nothing but peace has the power to make us all live in a better world. Now that I introduced myself, the artwork title, description, media, technique, style, influence, why I chose it, and what it means to me along with my statement, time to remind you of one thing: Always filter and revise your words before saying them. An argument could turn into a conversation through reasoning. Communicate peace always.