Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

“Art Washes the Dust of Daily Life off our Souls”


“Art Washes the Dust of Daily Life off our Souls”

It is difficult to imagine how human life would be without art and science. These two have had a great impact on human beings and today the way human lives and their societies have been managed is to a great extent because of the influences of science and art. The developments that have been made by human beings in different branches of knowledge and the different inventions that have made their lives comfortable have been made possible because of the marvels of science. At the same time arts have enriched the human culture, influenced their way of living and even of their thinking. It has also embellished their houses and designed their clothes and even altered their souls. As Pablo Picasso had said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls,” and that is a great purpose, which has only been pursued through art. If it is difficult to live without science, living without art would be really tasteless and colorless.

Human existence is not just physical reality. It has an emotional reality and an aesthetic aspect, without which living life would be nothing more than a dull and insipid journey towards nowhere. Art searches beauty, finds it and brings it to human life. It is through art that human beings have found the real meaning of beauty and they are able to make it a reality in their lives as well. This has also gifted human beings the love for nature, for each other and for the entire humanity. Lincoln Steffens had put this concept beautifully; “Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization.”

It is also through art that human beings get the opportunity to express themselves. Art is like a door towards the outer world. Through this door the human feelings, emotions and thoughts flow outwards. And it is not just any sort of flow that qualifies to be called as art but the skilled and the fine-looking ones that reach to the level of true art. Thus art functions as exhaust for human’s true nature, which, if closed, can cause human true self suffocate in a solitary confinement. That’s why Amy Lowell had said, “Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in”.

The true artists are the ones who pursue true art and thus pursue beauty and refined skills. They are always innovative and creative and long for a world that is filled with love and affection. They, at certain times and in certain societies, may be considered as evils and destructive but that may be because of the standard or the criteria through which they are judged. They may be highlighting the shortcomings and the defects within the society and the societies that do not have the capacity to absorb such criticism tend to discourage the artists and the art as a whole.

Artists are a very important stratum of society and they should be encouraged to continue their work in every possible manner. They may prove to be the guides of human emotions and their aesthetic sense. They may lead human soul towards satisfaction and contentment. Human beings, in today’s busy world have become very much mechanical. Their lives are mostly influenced by the routines and they are the victims of monotony. They require change and novelty and artists can support them achieve such novelty and change. Vann Martel, in Life of Pi says, “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams”.

Artists dare to dream, dare to think differently and dare to change and all these can support human beings towards a different life – a life that may be quite better than the one they are living. Therefore, the societies must respect their artists, value their work and realize their worth; otherwise, they may not be able to live life fully.

The societies that are liberal and democratic have a very favorable environment for their artists. The artists in such societies are free to pursue their skills and grow as artists and, thus, become a positive part of society and become the agents of change and progress.

On the other hand the conservative societies that are dominated by rigid rules and extremist religious sentiments tend to undermine the artists and art. They do not have any sort of tolerance for them, neglect them and make their lives miserable. Afghanistan is also one of the societies where the artists are not given their due rights and they do not have the role and the position they deserve.

In fact, the country has been caught in so many other problems that the issues pertaining to artists and art have never been pondered upon. Now that country is moving towards a relatively peaceful era, it is important that the artists should be valued. They should be supported both by the government and the people.

Moreover, the institutions that support and promote art must be strengthened. Music, painting, acting, dance, singing and all forms of art must be given proper chance to grow and to evolve. Afghan people require them not only for erasing the memories of war and instability but also for maintaining peace and tranquility and providing satisfaction and contentment to their souls.    

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at Outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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