Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Fine Line

Recently a painting caught my eye. It was by a very close friend Andaleeb Rizvi. Andaleeb Rizvi is an architect, a journalist, an environmentalist, a nature photographer, a painter from Pakistan. Oh yes she also does not believe in God. She refuses to give an explanation about her work and says that each person viewing the painting should make up his/her own mind.I really liked her wrk, and thought I would share my thoughts on this particular piece with everyone. By the way you can view more of her work at

To some this painting is about women rights in the Muslim world, some others think it is some how related to the recent ban on burqas in France. I think it is about pushing the dogmas of the society.
To me the eyes in the painting represent the society, held beliefs, the status quo, the establishment etc. the color in the eyes red, yellow etc. represent anger, frustration, grief, sadness
The burqa in this picture are the limits set... by the society. Limits beyond which this woman is not supposed to go. The highlighted breasts and bottom of the woman are depictions of her potency, her ability, her capability. Now her abilities (breasts) are pushing the boundaries of the limits (burqa) that have been put in place by the society.
Now the ever watchful eyes of the society are watching this woman defying their ideas, defying limits set by them and they watch in grief and anger. The ground below her feed is fire like golden-ish. That I think means she is walking through hell under the furious eyes of the status quo. But she is walking tall, and moving forward.

Its a story of defiance while remaining within the society. It is a story of pushing the social dogmas and rules without going over the line. That is what most freethinkers do in societies such as ours. We push the limits so that it makes the people of the status quo uncomfortable but keeping in mind our own safety we don't cross the line. We push just enough to start debates to make people question.
It is a fine balance that we have to watch for and that we have to maintain. The hope is that someday, we won’t have to worry about crossing the lines and tossing the burqa away.

What do you think about the painting? Do let me know.

Pakistani Bloggers