Street art – theirs and ours
I thoroughly enjoyed Asna Ali’s article on street art in Iran. I have seen a number of Iranian films and am a great fan of their cinema but I did not know about this new mode of self-expression that the Iranian youth has taken a liking to. My belief in the fact that you can’t suppress a people’s creativity – no matter how many restrictions and bans you place – has increased manifold. But there is something I don’t understand. The Pakistani nation has lived under military rules for the most part of the country’s existence. Why hasn’t this unleashed our creative demons in a similar way?
Why is it that we do have a ‘street art’ scene but it is completely different in nature? Instead of pithy social and political messages, we see advertisements of quacks, slogans of political parties and other random silly notes on our walls. The only positive point about them is that at times the stupidity of a message or the combination of two entirely different messages brings a smile to one’s face. For instance, I have seen this wall where the famous slogan ‘Pakistan ka matlab kiya?’ was followed by the advertisement of a ‘Haseena Beauty Parlor’. Is that all we are able to come up with?