Gelareh – Day 2

Gelareh – Day 2 150 150 Culturistan

How Honest are we with the Truth?

In all my time never did I think of the differences, always believing naturally they go hand in hand as to be honest is to be truthful. Yet as our discussions took forth amongst this unique group of 9 individuals, I began to examine their distinction. That yes honesty can be derived from the truth but it does not mean that what one is being honest about is the Truth.

“The fifth time when she forbore for weakness,
And attributed her patience to strength…”

Khalil Gibran

There is an honesty to one’s self with where we stand, what we take in and its effects, but it can be far from the truth. The Truth just is, it cannot be subjective. “Reality is bigger than all the facts…”. Fayaz Alibhai continues to explain after our reading from Anwar Iqbal’s squeamish FIFTEEN LASHES. A very detailed account of the flogging in Pakistan which naturally triggered accounts of stories friends once told me back in Iran. Throughout Iqbal’s meticulous description of sound, environment, mood, and actions, which I believe illustrated the scene so intimately; he honored the facts and was honest. Yet the question which was pointed out – how truthful was he to the accounts, his authenticity (the subject of our courses here in delightful France)? To be me, I thought, how much more truthful can he be?

“Although I had been writing against public flogging ever since it began, I wanted to watch it. I might go back to my typewriter and condemn it, but I did not want to miss the spectacle.
There was an unpleasant discovery to make about myself. A sorrowful, angry disgust – with myself and the country I lived in — this became a feature of my life.”

Anwar Iqbal

This one honest discovery at the end of all the facts which stemmed from reality seemed to then encompass the whole piece in an authentic envelope. Self-Realization, honest to oneself, almost vulnerable in where Iqbal stood in a position to the flogging.

Thus where do we stand with ourselves? The essence of what we all come to in our quest to accomplish, as Ahmad pointed out. How honest can we be with the complexities that we face as to keep our realizations authentic? Can this understanding be simple?

Simplifying situations in words has always been one of my hardest tasks. The one way I try to put this in practice is through respecting all the elements that give me that collective experience, as to better grasp its influence so I can (hopefully) be honest with its effects. Being respectful doesn’t mean I will agree but to witness with minimum judgment so I can at least be honest with my expression of that particular experience, especially in my work of visual representation. I strongly believe we, those in the field of representation/interpretation, have a responsibility in our honesty and what we choose to output.