We have art in order not die of the truth
Ten days before spring it was. Trees raised the idea of growing new leafs within the minds of their roots. I was in Madrid, alone in a room of an anonymous hotel.
I was getting ready to go to the Fine Arts University and talk about my first book which was translated to Spanish. In front of me on the TV’s small screen, huge statues of Buda, Kheng and Sorkh Idol, silent and with dignity, were counting theirs seconds before going back into the ground.
At the Idols’ tows, the black army of Taliban were pouring gunpowder and scattering the smell of ruination and suffocation in the valleys of Bamyan. The smell burnt my nose even there, in Madrid. I could not believe, I used to say it is a game, a political and foolish game! I was going towards the door that suddenly a horrible sound broadcasted in the room, the explosion sound. I look at the TV, fire and smoke and soil was pouring out from Baba mountain’s heart… and nothing else! Silence and suffocation. I collapsed, just as the Idols. I became a handful of soil. It took a while for me to get to myself, to understand the realness of terror, to believe the terror of the reality. The whole world was grunting and crying because of the ignorance of Taliban.
I wanted to cry out NO, it was not ignorance, it was the realness and the quest for suffocation facing the history, human being, and civilization. But I also witnessed the world’s exhausted closed eyes opening again to look at my homeland. It seemed that Shamame and Selsal statues sacrificing themselves to bring back the lost eyes of the world to see the suffocation.
Yes, it was neither Taliban’s Task nor their ignorance to demolish the idols. It was Buda himself that exhibited the savagery of human to god and history. Before the ruination of Budas, Afghanistan was not more than a fistful of mountains and soil to the politicians’ mind. Nobody saw the Afghani women’s teardrops beneath their veils, nobody heard the Talib-frightened kids’ outcries, nobody thought of the whip scars of the black army of suffocation on the seared skin of humanity.
By their ruination, the Buda statues not only revealed the face of suffocation, but also favored us with the downfall of Taliban’s government of terror. Maybe that is the responsibility and duty of art for the history and human kind.
And now the first contemporary Afghan visual arts exhibition, which is being held in Tehran via the efforts and endeavors of Lady Maryam Kouhestani, can be accounted as a result of the Buda’s Nirvana that spread out its power to this land’s young artists’ spirits and souls just like spreading the soil into the statues.
This exhibition is the manifestation of art’s responsibility and duty from one era to another, from one generation to another, so this land may find its cultural identity once again. The identity which was born between the east and west civilizations, and grew up through the amalgamation of Indian, Greek, Persian, Arabic and Chinese art, centuries ago. All the noteworthy efforts of the artists today, is a quest to achieve this lost identity. So many years, that Afghanistan’s visual arts history has not seen a moment this rich, of creativity power. It seems that all these art procreations are a revenge taken by art from the suffocation, taken by human’s imagination from the historical reality.