"We protest by creating beauty": India/Pakistan's Fearless Collective
Here's the extraordinary story (from Open Democracy) of the Fearless Collective - lead by two artists, Shilo Shiv Suleman from India, and Nida Mushtaq from Pakistan, "united by their love for poetry, beauty and imagination" . They use public art in their respective countries to "reclaim public space" for those marginalised within it - sex workers, young girls, workers at the toughest end of the labour market.
And they're asking you to be involved - see below from the OD article:
People write letters to make their invisible emotional histories visible—to lovers, friends, editors, politicians and cities. Letters full of stories, sentiments, fears, injuries, protests, affirmations, love and more. Just as old letters between scientists, diplomats and intellectuals go into archives and become part of our shared world history, we want to take our own letters and affirmations and archive them on the streets.
Open letters are intimate and introspective, but they are offered to the public. So we want to invite you to write your own open letter—to a friend, lover, parent, president, sibling, neighbour, country, land, home or yourself. You can write in any language—visual, verbal, poems, symbols, or colors, and we’ll find a home for it somewhere on the streets of the world.
You can send us your letters at this email address: email@example.com. We’ll send you redesigned/enlarged files and further instructions on pasting your letters onto your own streets too if that’s what you want to do.
Follow the conversation digitally on #fearlessopenletters, and find out where yours end up...By sending us your letter, you will become part of a collective that’s exploring choosing love over fear, compassion over defense and abundance over scarcity, all through collective imagination. We aspire to grow as a movement of people-led narratives of personal and political change. Send us your letters and join the journey.
More from the Times of India:
One part of Suleman's 'Fearless Pakistan' talks about Lyari, one of Karachi's oldest fishing villages. The following murals in Lyari explore "the idea that we are both constantly "playing with our lives" and playing the game of life simultaneously. Both realities coexist, especially in Lyari where the streets are strewn with snooker tables, portable merry go rounds, but also stories of violence and fear."
The murals depict "Zindagi ke Khiladi" or "We are players of the game of life" [See below]