Art and the exchange of art is seen as bridge between two countries. With India and Pakistan having always been at odds in the political realm, the artist communities in both countries have taken it upon themselves and gotten closer, over the years, through their craft. Unfortunately it is this very link that is attacked by both states when things go south. This time was no different. India banned Pakistani actors and in retaliation we banned their movies. How was any type of cultural exchange going to take place in these heightened tense situations.
Appalled by what he saw unfold before him, Faizan, a graphic designer and novice photographer from Islamabad, was compelled to do something to bridge the artistic divide.
He really believes in the uniting power of poetry:
“Poetry is one of the more intimate forms of art. Your words often come from personal experiences. You can see from some of the pieces we have that people pour their heart out in them. And when multiple people are sharing that stuff to form a coherent poem, that bonding is priceless.”
Faizan and his friends are creating some amazing poetry to show how lives on both sides of the border aren’t much different and here are some of our favorites:
When they touched upon one of our greatest fears (a fear a lot have already realized)
When they reminded us all to never give up hope, not to ever just fall of the horse but to climb back up
When they addressed how “glorious” war really is.
And this time when they just talked about how it feels like to fall in love.
Here they reveal how our ideas about “home” are formed only by our associations
Lastly, this harsh reminder of what ego and hatred has done to our two nations
What Faizan aimed to do with this initiative was to get some of Pakistan’s and India’s young poets together, making them work together and make some awesome poetry.
Talking to MangoBaaz, he said, “I had participated in multiple social causes over the years so I’ve built a small following which I knew I could leverage if I were to do a project that held up the principles of uninterrupted cultural exchange, no matter what the atmosphere is like. Hence, Azaad Fankaar was born.”
Going through their work, the poetry brings out all sorts of emotions, but one thing is for sure, it does wow you. If you liked these small snippets then you can check the rest of their work over here.
Indeed, the best way to fight war is by making art. Responding to bombs with love is the only way because after all, love always does win.