Art Bits: A Different Kind of Art

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Written by Malak Nour

Dear readers, welcome back to Art Bits. Since this is going to be the last article for 2016, I thought I’d write something special as a farewell for the year. The topic for this article is going to be the art that we see, not at ballets, concerts, museums, or even on social media, but that which we come across as we’re going on through the day, meeting other people who are close to us, and those who are not so close.

Photo by Yasmin ElDokany of her bedroom’s bookshelf

Where exactly is “art” in meeting other people, you might be asking. The answer is in your friend’s lock screen, of where she had one of the most memorable experiences of her life; your other friend’s bookshelf, with all its seemingly random stuff placed here and there; the necklace around a young lady’s neck, bearing the photo of a loved one who’s much yearned for; a favorite quote, or maybe your own keychain where you tied the friendship bracelet given to you by your favorite younger relative.

Photo by Nour K. Younis of her necklace with the photo of her grandmother who lately passed away

We go through life, letting countless such details about other people pass by; and when we do, we’re not merely letting an insignificant detail pass, but a very telling one. These seemingly little things tell stories about their owners. They can be their mini reminders of things they cherish most, their mini celebration of things they love most, and they can reveal a side of them that they may have never spoken to us about before. Perhaps we also miss them because their bearers think we might not be interested in the story, or because it means too much to them to actually let it out, or simply because it never occurred to them to share…and the reasons go on.

Photo by Malak M. Nour of Nour Alaa’s lock screen which she took on her semester abroad at Aaarhus, Denmark

Can’t such little, yet very profound, details be considered art? If we think about art as an expression of one’s innermost feelings, I believe they can. Some people express their innermost feelings through poetry, others through dancing, others through drawing, and the list goes on. If we think about these forms of art as a means to expressing that which the artist wants to express, then why can’t the small details (in whatever form they take) that are put out by the people in our lives to express themselves, be also considered art…a different kind of art?

Photo by Yasmin Bassily of a quote she came across recently, and became one of her favourites

I wanted to write this as a call to celebrate the people in our lives and their special moments. To listen to what they have to share, to pay more attention to the little details, and try to understand them and see beyond their surface. One way or another, all of us are struggling to make ourselves understood. Although perhaps we can’t achieve complete understanding of one another, we can put in the extra effort to understand those things that we have access to. One of the main purposes of art is allowing us to express these feelings that gnaw upon us from the inside…these ones that we need to shout out to the world. And shouting comes in many forms; sometimes, silence hides away the loudest of shouts…So, in 2017, make sure you notice, share, and celebrate with your loved ones the silent shouts that make them who they are.

Happy 2017! – Photo by unknown

Thoughts?
I’d love to know what you’re thinking in the comments below. Happy new year!

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