Most days, the news tends to be of depressing kinds; financial meltdowns carrying global impacts, oppressions by ruling parties, never-ending civil wars in parts of the world. And sadly enough, though the problems are varied in nature and geography, we can attribute a common underlying cause to them all: human greed. But what are we to do? Small individual beings that we are; surely we stand little chance going against the forces of the world.
Bigger regret is that greed is more universal than we may realise, and we see snippets of them in smaller scale of conflicts around us; in our country, our race, our neighbourhood. Some may argue that those still exist beyond our influence but really,in these instances we can no longer hide behind excuses of powerlessness and incapability. Should something amiss stem into a community, combatting injustice is expected from within the community itself. Some venture on to argue that this is a form of jihad for the Muslims, and that jihad is fard 'ain and not fard kifayah as may have been suggested. In other words, just like praying and fasting, jihad and fight against injustice is a compulsory duty for every single Muslim to perform.
Performing such duty is up to interpretation. That could be part of the beauty; we free to find means to do so within our own circle of influence. For Januri, he transfers his reflections of modernization and daily realities onto visuals of contemporary landscapes. We better pay attention for he brings to light of our surroundings. Consistent to his previous works that centers on nature, The Land of Tragedy is a portrayal of his maturity as an artist; this time his reflections extends into all aspects of humanity at all levels, and on how human behaviours have adverse impacts on nature.
And we do have such tendency to pave our ways damagingly. And often times we forget to take a hard look into the mirror. The famous activist, Martin Luther King Jr. was quoted to elaborate that there are four stages for any of us to fight injustice. First, we must ascertain that injustice occur around us, and then secondly, to approach the oppressor and negotiate to demand justice to be restored. Should the oppressor refuses, the third stage is an act of self-purification: ask, “Are we ourselves oppressors and wrongdoers?” The final stage is to take action after genuine self-examination, which would involve removing our own wrongs before demanding for justice again. The act of self-reflection is to assess whether, there exists within any parts of our lives where we are also the oppressor.
When we stop to wonder why certain things turn out in certain ways and the reasons behind some tragedies - and we be sincere throughout this reflection - we will realise that we have to a certain extent brought them upon ourselves. But more importantly, the question that follows is how will this change us – will we be prepared to take responsibility and rectify our actions and behaviours? But just as physicians cannot force medicine onto his patients, no teachers nor preachers can coerce spiritual and societal purifications in the hearts and minds of the unwilling. However way we look at it, we will always be one of the responsible parties. We must remember that every time we point our forefinger out, three others point right back at us.