Creative Exploration

Islam Through Art

Dimensions vs Dichotomies

Filed under: Uncategorized — sgee at 10:32 pm on Tuesday, May 3, 2016


For my last blog post, I decided to focus on “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”, both the novel and the movie. Week 13, we read about contemporary Muslim expression using hip-hop and jazz music. We also saw the youtube video #IMPSTERZ about a contemporary twist to wearing hijabs. All these reflect a modern twist to an old religion. The Reluctant Fundamentalist also explored the life of a modern man who had been influenced by western ideals, then returned to Pakistan. The movie and the book were very different, but both highlighted the fact that people are traditionally divided into two sides. I am exploring this as categorization that is imposed upon you. In the book, the story of a conversation between the Changez and a stranger is told to us by Changez, the narrator, and the reader only knows what is happening through Changez’s interpretations and narration. This presents a very one sided story, and I felt this reflected the current state of affairs in Islamic countries. Muslims are forced to identify with one way of life, and that has caused a lot of civil unrest. The movie is very different in the fact that it shows more dynamic scenes, and stories from the two parties in the conversation. Not only do we get to see the two sides, we also get some background information of the two main characters. I thought this was interesting because it recognizes that although people are currently forced to abide by a certain way of life, there are variations in personalities.

For the art component of the blog post, I decided to do a charcoal drawing to reflect the differences between the book and the film. The cube on a checkered background represents dimensionalism while the square on a striped background represents dichotomy. The movie was dynamic and showed the story line from multiple character’s points of view, while the book was flat and one-sided. I hoped that the dimensionality would be taken away from the object (person) with the representation of the square. In terms of modern day Muslim culture, I think that practices and policies should take on more of a cubed perspective instead of the 2D square perspective it is currently in. A cube has six sides, while my cube only has three sides, each side represents a different character of the cube. I shaded each side a different color to represent that. The cube cannot exist without one side, and each side adds to the cube. This is a metaphor for people as well, since people are influenced in life by many experiences, and shouldn’t be categorized into one category. With western influences and modern ideas, these should be reflected in the way Muslims live their lives today in Islamic countries.

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