Moving forward..

In the wake of the horrors of World War 1, people found themselves grappling with the consequences of violence, not knowing how to react. No system seemed to make sense and all the isms capitalism, communism, tradionalism, Marxism, looked unworkable. This feeling of helplessness and growing unrest led to the what is known as the Dada revolution.

Dadaism was artistic movement that was against traditional form of art and traditional form of movement. It was a collective outcry of artists and writers toward the injustice they had just witnessed. A lot of inspiring art and literature was born out of it, including the genre of surrealism and pop art. I will not go into further art history but there is a point I’m trying to make here.

Dadaism still exists today in the minds of many artists who personally revolt against the system in creative ways. A modern example, a personal favourite, can be found here:
The events of last week happened in a frenzy, but now we need to look forward. The skies of hope look bleak and waning, but we must persevere. A lot has been said but there is little to be gained from the blame game we play in our minds. We must move forward.

I believe that only writers, philosophers, thinkers and artists can ultimately save the world where politicians, propagandists and media moguls have failed. We need a revolution but first we must cleanse our minds of the hate, the anger and the indifference. To be of any value to our city and our generation we need to look past petty follies and ask ourselves “What I have done in this world that was not already done before, what new did I bring to the table?”
We must create, not just procreate. We must produce, not just reproduce. We must move forward. Only with acceptance comes advancement. You never know what impact you will have.

14 Comments so far

  1. darthvader (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 8:26 am


  2. kidal (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 10:18 am

    Refreshingly positive.

  3. Salman A. (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 10:52 am

    just to build on what you said:
    –>Only with acceptance comes advancementonly writers, philosophers, thinkers and artists can ultimately saveWe must create, not just procreateWe must create, not just procreate

  4. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 11:35 am

    jobs, michael dell, we could not even produce an equivelant of azeem premji, or sabeer bhatia.. although we are as young as a nation as India..

    I disagree. I trust my people and I know they are not lesser talented than mentioned people. Here we discourage our own people. Adnan Sabzwari is one of the many example. I will not talk about US but you mentioned Indians’ name here, Don’t forget India was not hijacked by Fudals and Military rulers. Their governments provided a solid Infrastructure to future generations which helped them to produce something better for the country. How Ironic is that we Pakistanis want to compete India in fields like Movies,Arts etc but never wished to pay some attention on their Booming IT and Electronic Industry and their R&D deparments in different universities. SUrely, we re a nation who wants to adapt every crappy thing of others, whether it’s west or India.

  5. Sajid (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

    When a Pakistani will stop cheating, stop stealing and become dedicated in what he/she do then they can become in par with all other nations.

    Most Pakistanis follow others track, they never try to reinvent the road or make their own path. They set others as example everytime and thats what i call “bhairchaal”.

    If i’ll start something and it becomes a success, the other day 100 people will line-up doing the same thing? Thats the mentality which persist here and without changing it we can’t come in par with others.

    My opinion is very realistic, by mentioning a bunch of people you can’t pride yourself and start blaming “kay ager yai na hota to hum yai hotay”. Thats rubbish!

    In last 50 years give me a single innovation that has its name assciated with a Pakistani? And we still say “bohot talent hai hamary pass”. Yes we have allot of talent and we keep it in pendora box to save it for future, right? Stop day dreaming, you have nothing unless you prove it, so its useless to give yourself false hope.

    Some of those who does something exceptional choose the wrong path. Take Agha hasan abidi, one who was considered best banker, with his skills he sky rocketted BCCI, and see what happened in the end? A FRAUD that tainted Pakistan with black color.

  6. neoka (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

    What does it take to be a steve jobs, micheal Dell, etc?

    Why can they rise to such ranks and then turn around and give back to their country and community? Bill Gates gives more money to the HIV/AIDS pandemic than some 1st world countries!

    We have self starters here in Pakistan as well, look at Lakson (ok i don’t support tobacco, but they’ve made it big from starting out in a shed) and look at AKD from AKD securities, started with nothing and built one of the most successful profitable business in the country.

    How did they do it in a country that the only way to get ahead is to befriend the ‘man’ at the top?
    Bribery makes you a fool, once ppl know you give a bribe, you’ll be paying bribes the rest of your life.

    Damn right the mentalities need to change, damn right we need a cultural revival.

    What is Pakistani culture anyway? I doubt any 2 people could agree!?

    Look at history, the only rallies that are ever remembered are the ones where many people die (tiannamen square) and now karachi.

    No. Politics will not pull this country back together, the people will once they realize they have it in themselves.

    As my wise father would always tell me, “do one thing positive everyday, and before you know it everything will work out just fine”

  7. SHAFIQ (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

    Bahl write: “The events of last week happened in a frenzy, but now we need to look forward…. little to be gained from the blame game…We must move forward.”

    Wow! what a bunch of hogwash! Under the circumstances, we hardly need dadabhoys (or rather dadada) that serves their repressive purpose of half-hiding what is going on. Such folks from the “fantasy dadaisland” never go to “meet the people where they are,” because they don’t have time, and don’t know how, and probably don’t even want to, since they don’t get any accolades or score any brownie points for doing it. Such balderdash to whitewash what happened in Karachi is typical of our bourgeois class. There is no blame game here – the facts are crystal clear for anybody not inebriated to see. We don’t need any “High Culture” sher-o-shari or artistic rendition to make it any more translucent.

  8. Salman A. (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 9:28 pm

    if you want to survive gracefully in this selfish world and be a competitive nation, you need long term planing for not just one election to please people to get thier votes, but for decades. as a first step, bring back the law and order in order to stop this MASSAIVE BRAIN DRAIN.. unfortunately, we dont even realize what and how much talent are we sending abroad becuase we are unable to provide them economic stability and sense of security. with this rate, we will end up haivng only terrorists left in Karachi in next few decades or so.. thats kind of where we are heading..

    later gator……

  9. darthvader (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 9:42 pm

    @Shafiq : i am not sure if “Bahl” ( to use yor terminology) or her reference to Dada Art or any genre of art can or could be used to “hide”
    ( to use your terminology again) what happened in karachi. do you even know what the hell you are talking about ??? it’s one thing to disagree with someone’s opinions or ideas, completely different to cast a negative light , like you are doing , on any form of discourse without even knowing the basic premise of it . Dada and
    bourgeois in the same sentence ??? jees … Tzara is probably turning in his grave right now .
    what the hell are you talking about ???

  10. SHAFIQ (unregistered) on May 20th, 2007 @ 7:43 am

    @ darthvader: My, my, what a tantrum! Approach the Earth down from the Galactic Empire and maybe you could comprehend us earthy folks. Anybody who actually gets worked up over something as drivel as Dadaism on earth is somebody who’s long overdue for a visit to a shrink. Promoter of Dadaism, like the communist party member Tzara, who came up with this Dada mumbo jumbo live in a dadaistic universe, not unlike the Galactic in the galaxy – that is far away from the realities on the ground in Karachi. Dadaism is more like establishing a dictatorial regime to begin the formation of a communist state. It is best compared to communism.

    Dada is viewed as a failed movement in art history, some even called it an “aesthetic scam”. It was populated by group of very angry people who sought to vent their dissatisfaction with society and government by “defiling and defacing” all things society values. They believed there was no purpose to life, that there was no god, that rules and laws were irrelevant. Their “nonsense” was a protest against rules, religion, community and law.

    Here’s a taste of the Dada poetry performed at the Cabaret Voltaire.

    The exhibitionist assumes his stance before the curtain
    and Pimpronella tempts him with her petticoats of scarlet.

    Koko the green god claps loudly in the audience-
    and the hoariest of old goats are roused again to lust.

    Come join us darthvader – in the real world and we can have a meaningful discussion about the massacre of innocent folks by the goons of MQM & Musharraf, Inc. What is needed is widespread organising and mass protest challenging the status quo by the so-called “silent majority” and we may see what has happened in Nepal and other places, when those who think of themselves as supreme Dadagir (no pun intended) can be thunderstruck from their pinnacles.

    PS: “Bahl” was a typo of Bayl, whereas “bourgeois” was used in the context of Karachi – where only such class of people would entertain such bizarre notions, though bizarre could have been more appropriate. There are positive achievements or experience of the West from which we could profit. This is most definitely not one of them. However, closer to home, we have a solution to our present ailments, but knowing that darthvader name is synonym for Evil, I better leave it at that!

  11. Bayl (unregistered) on May 20th, 2007 @ 2:38 pm

    To each his own, why do we fight over opinion? Mr. Shafiq you are entitled to yours just as much as I am entitled to mine. You may have your reservations of the effectiveness of art, but please do not label it “unsuccessful” based on your single perception/discourse.

    You have misunderstood me. The point is to get over differences and to look forward to a solution, in your own way, artistic way or the philistine way ;) Just being angry over MQM and Musharraf isn’t helping us now, is it?

  12. SHAFIQ (unregistered) on May 20th, 2007 @ 11:57 pm

    @ Ms. Bayl: No disagreement on the art per se as one of the effective tools of communication. What I vehemently disagree (not fight) with is the focal point in your piece i.e. Dadaism.

    The anger visibly accumulating as a result of events in Pakistan, particularly, the recent massacre in Karachi, require all of us to channel our energies and efforts towards a more humane and democratic society and assuming some personal responsibility for self-government. But we must keep the heat on the tyrannical forces, and try in whatever ways we can to put an end to the status quo.

  13. SHAFIQ (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 12:12 pm

    One main point I missed on my last post: In our zeal “to look forward to a solution”, we must not compromise the basic tenets of our faith, hence my main reason for debunking the doctrine of Tsara, i.e. “DADAISM”, which follows ways that are incompatible with Islamic discourse.

  14. wasiq (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 3:18 am

    iam not so sure about the Dadaism…..but i fully agree that we must move forward….however i blame the media that will never let us do this……it keeps on reminding us of the injustices and the injuries inflicted upon us…’s influence is not just restricted to the collective social behaviour….individually also it ruins our everyday lives…..for example….this year i was not in the mood to celebrate the mothers day…after watching the Tv series THE FASHION HOUSE… full all the episodes…..
    and today i was so hungry but i was not able to go to McDonald’s for a quick meal because of the movie FIVE FINGERS….i saw a few days ago….


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