Making Art in the Time of War
By Afro in blog
Many years have passed without me writing anything. All my writings have been exclusive to film ideas and scenarios maybe because I know my limited ability in expressing myself with words and that they are not the language I master. Since I was a child, visuals and videos have formed the language I speak best. This language has always enabled me to communicate with people around me. The camera has given me a voice and platform to send my messages to the world in an attempt to make change or inspire people towards it. Today, I hold the pen again to write down my thoughts as the continuous electricity blackouts have deprived me from making films.
I have found in story telling through film-making a reason to continue no matter how bad things can get knowing that art is what we need to make peace and spread love in people’s hearts. Ever since #SupportYemen cooperative was established in 2011, I have been in a mission to help Yemen through my work. Despite the rapid deterioration of the situation in Yemen, I have always been able to create space for pieces of work that hold messages of hope. While it has always been more risky to hold a camera than to hold a weapon, it was still possible to continue filming. However, today it was worse than ever as we are stuck in a brutal war that left people drowning in hate and Yemen is being torn apart more and more.
Filming today has become almost impossible and Yemen needs art to open the door for healing and peace making. This might not be accurate and I might be too naive for still believing in art and its messages. Yes, Yemenis need urgent aid and immediate stop of war and fighting. Yet, how can this happened when my fellow Yemenis have become blinded and cannot see the dark future ahead of us. I have finally finished a small piece of work where I try to show the features of this future that we may have already begun to sink in its darkness.
Under very difficult circumstances, I have managed with the help of close friends and #SupportYemen’s team to produce “The Color of Injustice”. This short video still revolve around the human in Yemen and what this human has to go through on daily basis between death, destruction and misery. With very limited resources and a race with time, this video finally sees light.
With news spreading that all means of communication suspending soon due to lack of fuel in Yemen, this video may be our last message before we lose connection with the world. This video may touch people and it may not, but all I have is to try.
Although, the video’s name that is also inspired by Luti Jaafar Aman’s poem (the famous late Yemeni poet) shows the presence of colors, the video has only the colors black and white and their derivatives. The late poet’s voice has given this video a soul. It inspired me for this experience and deeply touched my soul.
In spite of the absence of transportation and continues bombardment every day, young Yemeni women and men continued to come and help finish filming.