She, Who Forgot To Travel


"In my own country, hostilities have not ceased in the far north; 
to the west, communal violence resulting in arson and murder were taking place
 just several days before I started out on the journey 
that has brought me here today".


Words spoken by Aung San Suu Kyi when in 2012 she was finally able to travel as a free person to Oslo to receive her Nobel Peace Prize awarded her in 1991. The situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar portrayed almost casually as the archetype of human violent nature.

Suu Kyi was at once pointing to and removing attention away from it by describing it as an eruption of violence resulting in "arson and murder" as in random violent acts rather than a long and painful pattern of violence so densely woven that we are facing a genocide on the Myanmar Rohingya Muslims.

That is not a condition in the general. That is a very specific plight, which needs intervention and yes, we know she is not the sole responsible. For one, she too has an adversary in the military. She is, however, the face of the Myanmar political situation. She created that face for herself and we see her refuse to comment by twisting questions or sending them right back at journalists.

The moment a denial has taken place or the attempt to reframe a matter; that person has taken on responsibility

She herself addressed it in Oslo as our being "still guilty":


"War is not the only arena where peace is done to death. 
Wherever suffering is ignored, there will be the seeds of conflict, 
for suffering degrades and embitters and enrages".


Shahid Atiqullah has placed her in the dual landscape of an actual photo and her medal from the Nobel committee. The one exposes what she does not tell; the pooling of the blood undermines the other.

Given his portraits are public figures living well from being known as faces, Shahid Atiqullah each time lets his composition take on a grossly enlarged ego on his or her own word. He is giving said person a fittingly grossly enlarged head placing them in the situation they would refuse to see themselves, with their heads as personal pointers to their responsibility.

Suu Kyi is then just another one of those we know all too well.

She is morphing before us into a menacing red-anger, which has forced her out of her calm. She has actual movement strangulating the peace dove. Fergal Keane, who interviewed her in April for BBC, wrote that she, who was known for her stubbornness in the cause for freedom, shall now be known for her stubbornness.

And so, she ends up leading the knife rather than taking that important journey, she spoke of in Oslo:


"Absolute peace in our world is an unattainable goal. 
But it is one towards which we must continue to journey, 
our eyes fixed on it as a traveller in a desert fixes his eyes on the one guiding star
 that will lead him to salvation". 


Shahid Atiqullah, Stop The Genocide in Myanmar! September 4, 2017.


The cartoon shown is courtesy of Shahid Atiqullah and must not be reproduced without his permission.


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