It took me a while to make this for that I felt it required a lot of thought and research.
My main thinkpiece is this writing. However, I have included some hints about the cover painting within the last paragraph for everyone who’s interested.
I am concerned.
I am concerned because this saturday, as I had no proper internet connection, and had to rely on the TV reports of my country, most of what they would talk about were the soccer players that had to spend the night at the soccer stadium of Paris.
I am concerned because shortly after, people were arguing if showing the french flag as their Facebook avatar would be a sign of true concern or not. It made me think.
It is said that one should never talk politics on Facebook.
I honestly don’t know why. When I encourage people to talk politics, I learn so much about different perspectives from different people and different countries, that I would feel like I would be missing a huge part of the information, would I not encourage them to share their thoughts.
I encouraged people to express their views on my Facebook wall and learned a lot:
It is nonsense to argue about Facebook avatars.
We would not critique people who mourn their parents or light a candle to express their sorrow for the victims of the shootings. Yet we argue when it is about an avatar.
Upon closer look most of this frustration actually seemed to concern the media, but was addressed towards the people instead.
The media is here to bring us the news. If they fail to do their job properly and cover only specific stories, is it right to put critique on people because those people felt they needed to express solidarity to a tragedy they just had learned about?
About the media:
To give you an example, the German media mainly talked about the soccer players all day long, ARD’s coverage got compared to CNN and was called embarrassing. And yes, for something that every German citizen HAS TO PAY 18 euros every quarter so that they have free, “well researched” and informative news, this kind of coverage, or shall I say missing coverage, is embarrassing to say the least!
Was it necessary to have this one small aspect of the entire story be so overly dominant and not talk about Beirut and Baghdad at all, or show the speech of the french president properly so viewers could better see the political context? (I wouldn’t have learned about those without the internet.) So yes, the (traditional?) media fucked up here. They are far from doing their job properly. Keep that in mind when you’re about to discuss facebook avatars. You might want to discuss how to improve our media instead.
Also, if you still want to discuss the people but not the media, take a look at this: fusion.net/…/the-next-ti…
What we can do:
Of course we aren’t the government. We cannot directly influence right now if certain IS targets in Syria will be bombed further or if they wouldn’t. This is part of the government’s decisionmaking right now.
However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t and shouldn’t do anything.
More bombings will bring more refugees to us, and part of “our ways and ideals” that some said were being attacked by the terrorists, is to welcome the refugees here and help them.
(And to certain individuals who don’t seem to “get” it: If your home would get bombed tomorrow, you would run the same. And no, those men who launched the attacks at Paris had actually not come there as “refugees”. They had been living there for quite some while, knew the area, and spoke french quite well. You might also want to take a look at this: blogs.plos.org/…/scott-a…
Everyone of us can help. All you have to do is look up the nearest station /camp to where you live and ask them what they need. Many of them are in need of things like cellphones, train tickets, blankets, etc. Most of us get new cellphones every two years. So I bet you got some lying around. And if only some of us buy train tickets, or take a look at the lists to help with the other things that are currently needed, we can make a huge difference and show how we put the love that we preach about truly into the center of our society.
About this painting:
The main statement here is actually the writing, and believe me, I wanted to write so much more, but in times of the internet, things fall ever too easily into the TL
R corner, that I worked really hard to keep it short.
So the painting, which is the cover, includes more than one flag. Deciding which flags to show (or if I should show any) wasn’t an easy decision. Since it obviously isn’t possible to show all the flags I felt should be shown within one painting, I decided to show one that is clearly visible, and another one that is not so visible. They both are symbols, representation of certain aspects of our society. Just like we might not see at once that the women by the borders that frame the woman in the middle have their skulls shining through.
It comes down to the message that we are all people. We are all the same. We must care for each other. We should care for the victims of the attacks as good as we can. For our friends that we lost, and for those that are seeking shelter under our roovs.
We shall not see past them, but look into their eyes instead. Helping them now by donating what is needed and helping ALL our future generations through spreading love and education, through giving people perspectives for their lives.
Thanks for reading.
And the song I listened to while painting is Retrograde by James Blake
Do not fight over Facebook avatars when the real problem is that the media doesn’t know how to news.
If you want to help, look up a refugee station/ camp in your neighborhood and ask them what they need, for there we will have a lot more refugees coming our way when the bombings continue. We are all equal as people and therefore we should not see past but take care of each other.
PS: Feel free to talk politics in the comments.