Out of Class Essay #2
Suffering through Art
Art speaks and shows us the reality of people by expressing human behavior, thoughts, ideas and emotions through a piece of work. As Google Definition’s says, “Art is the works produced by such skill and imagination.” Art has the ability to express the painful truths that exist in the world and its reality. No matter how painful it might be to have a legitimate knowledge about the truth, I believe people need to see it and open their eyes up to it to be able to understand how the world actually is. After reading “This is Our World” by Dorothy Allison and watching the film “Born into Brothels” by Zana Brisky my eyes were open to a new point of view on art and the agonizing truth it can show. In the film “Born into Brothels” a group of children, who are living the hard life of the Red Light District in Calcutta, are helped by a photographer named Zana Brisky. They learn to express themselves through photography and to have faith in the future even with all feels lost. Their circumstances are so harsh and demanding of them that some of the children are stuck in the cruel life they were born in. Avajit, a young boy in Zana’s photography class, says, “There is nothing called hope in my future.” In this quote he is expresses his frustration towards the life he had to live. These kids are stuck living in the painful truth of the world, with only a slim chance of a way out. Avajit is a very talented artist and is given a chance to go to Amsterdam on the children’s panel of judges of photography. While he is there he is caught saying, “It is hard to look at the lives of people suffering in the world, but we need to see it because it is truth.” When saying thi, he is stating that we need to see reality and the suffering of people because it is a part of our world. It is hard to look at all the suffering, as Avajit says, because reality is so harsh. We can become disappointed in ourselves and overwhelmed from all the agony and suffering. People need to see the pain to be able to connect and come closer with the earth and its people. By seeing and accepting reality and the pain that comes with it we are able to stand up together and fight for what’s good as a whole. For an example, the children in Calcutta came together as a group who lived in a world of suffering and pain. They came together as one to fight and try to escape their horrible circumstances and living conditions while accepting the truth of it all. If people don’t accept the truth but hide from it then they are not “one” with the people who are. Instead they are set apart, living in their own safe and personal bubble. When we open our eyes the world we find that it can be a cruel place to live. Allison explains, “The world is meaner than we admit, larger and more astonishing. Strength appears in the most desperate figures, tragedy when we have no reason to expect it. Yes. Some of my stories are fearful but not as cruel as what I see in the world.” (Allison, 9) Allison is explaining how tragic she sees the world because she is willing to accept and recognize pain that exists. Sometimes it is hard to see all the pain in the world and look at it as a whole. People don’t usually like to think about the hurt and suffering of the people in the world and themselves because it can bring in bad emotions and thoughts. Everyone goes through hard times. It’s the pain and suffering during those times that bring people together; no matter what race, religion or ethnicity we all experience pain. Pain lets people share a common feeling, a feeling that joins them as one. Art, such as photography, can show the truth; the truth of the world being the pain and suffering of the earth and its inhabitants. I think the distress that exists can simply be brought on by people choices, behaviors and way of living. As Gour, one of the children in Calcutta, said, “I want to show in pictures how...
Cited: Allison, Dorothy. Think Vertically! USA: Whatcom Community College Department of English, 2012. 1-11. Print.
Brisky, Zana, and Ross Kauffman, dir. Born into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light. 2004. DVD.
Cruise, Tom, perf. Vanilla Sky. Dir. Cameron Crowe. 2001. CD-ROM.
Google Definition’s. .Art. 2010. Web.
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