Friday, July 01, 2011

Pausing on History

"There was nothing else to do but work seriously and devotedly, struggle for food, see friends quietly, and look forward to freedom."* I was reading Frances Morris's Paris Post War, Art and Existentialism 1945-55 that I arrived at this quotation by Picasso. I paused. I had to. How could I miss the historical similarities between what we are going through today and the historical accounts of WWII.

Today, not so far from Europe, in Syria, Egypt, Libya, China, Iran, and in many other countries under oppressive totalitarian regimes, artists, intellectuals, thinkers, people, are under similar conditions. Our contemporary experiences of working under oppression is similar and yet different from what Picasso described in 1940s. It is different for the simple fact that today we have access to the accounts of WWII and the postwar era. Today we can allow ourselves to be more hopeful in our fight against oppression.

Picasso was among a few artists who did not leave Europe during the dark years of the Second World War. His descriptions, poetic or factual, unique or collective, have recorded an experience of a sensitive mind, a mind worthy of remembering. For us too, There is nothing else to do, but to work seriously... and look forward to freedom!

*Picasso, The Recent Years: 1939-1946, H. and S. Janis, p.4


ali said...

Yup, we should look forward

Tameshk said...

Indeed Ali Jaan, we should... better days will come!