The eleven participating artists, Amna Rahman, Amra Khan, Faraz Aamer Khan, Natasha Malik, Nisha Hasan, Sahyr Sayed, Shehzil Malik, Shehzad Noor, Zainab Zulfiqar, and Ahmed Rabbani, have all produced work of importance. But it is necessary to tell Rabbani's story as it has been told by the event's organisers in order to give the readers context.
Ahmed Rabbani depicted the abuse he endured in captivity in paintings when he was detained at Guantanamo art, but the US military took the paintings away.
This project is focused on Ahmed Rabbani, a Muslim Rohingya who was born in Makkah in 1969. On September 10, 2002, Pakistani officials unexpectedly showed up to Ahmed's home in the middle of the night. Ahmed was a cab driver in Karachi, had just gotten married, and was expecting a kid.
"Ahmed was sent to Cuba's Guantanamo Bay and held there for 20 years without being charged after spending 540 days in the CIA's Dark Prison in Kabul. He endured constant humiliation, abuse, and inhumane treatment while incarcerated. He depicted the torturous treatment he had received at Guantanamo and in the Dark Prison. The US military seized these artworks after identifying them as a "threat to national security."
On Tuesday, a sizable group of media representatives had gathered at the IVS gallery, gathering around Ahmed Rabbani as they waited for him to introduce his works of art.
He made an effort to provide the context for each work he created since, as a humble man, he seems to be. Untitled paintings in acrylic, oil, and watercolour are widely varied and incorporate meanings ranging from the impermanence of time to spiritual development in relation to nature.
However, two of the most notable side-by-side exhibits, in my opinion, dealt with the difficult circumstances the artist encountered while incarcerated. One of them showed a man in a wheelchair with his face concealed by what appeared to be the same fabric as the garment he is wearing. The man's colouring, red, which gives the image a grotesque feel, is the exhibit's distinguishing element. In describing the image, Rabbani remarked, "I used this [wheelchair] many times [in detention]."
A painting in oils that depicted a cramped area was shown next to that photograph. This is a terribly horrible location, everything is made of iron, stated Rabbani. I was kept here for two years.
Growth is said to be induced by hardship. A sense of empathy in the audience is also thought to be fostered by art produced during trying circumstances. Pain and anguish that Ahmed Rabbani has felt and captured in his art. In this stage, life becomes a mind that is always thinking, and art becomes a big, sensitive heart.