KARACHI: The murder of African American George Floyd by the US police has prompted a global movement against racism, with many countries around the world showing their support, talking about how racism needs to end. People are protesting on the streets, they’re speaking against racism, they’re opening up about the oppression they’ve faced because of the colour of their skin – and Pakistan isn’t far behind in the conversation either.
Artist Haider Ali has spoken up for George Floyd by using a skill that was taught to him in his household at a very young age: truck art. Ali’s work has received global recognition in the past, and his newest masterpiece has also made headlines world over. He has painted a mural for George Floyd in his home but it’s for the whole world to see.
“I’ve been stuck at home because of the current pandemic and there hasn’t been much work lately either. So I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. Which is why I was able to dedicate four entire days to paint this mural. Ordinarily it doesn’t take this long to paint but with this mural, I took my time and did it in a very relaxed manner,” Ali tells Cutacut.
The artist has many friends in America, and watching the chaos unfold made him want to do something, somehow. “I couldn’t even watch the video,” he says, expressing the need to learn from our mistakes and try to stop these unjust killings. “The message in my mural isn’t even from me, it’s from George Floyd actually. It’s 2020, how can this go on? It’s heartbreaking that black lives are still being oppressed in this day and age. There should be some law against this.”
Much like everyone else, Ali is convinced that Floyd’s death should not go unnoticed or ignored. “Racism has existed for decades. If we can’t learn from this incident then racism will never go away.”
Everyone must do their part, and if you can’t be on the streets protesting, then you can use your words and actions to make a difference wherever you are, he claims. “I can only talk about the injustice through my art and my colours and for that reason, I love my art. It’s in my blood. One should always advocate love and peace.”