In Pictures: The Talking Walls of Jamia
'Nothing much left to fear'
NEW DELHI: As soon as you reach the university gates at Jamia Millia Islamia, the murals capture your eyes. They look so natural, it’s hard to imagine these walls without the revolutionary paintings that grace them today. A glance at these walls will help you understand not only the timeline but the entire issue.
The paintings come alive with all their different colours; one can almost feel the vibrancy. It represents and complements the energies of the protestors here.
These paintings take time and a lot of effort. “We usually come out on Saturdays or Sundays, as many alumni also join us, so weekends are usually when they get off,” says Shaheen, who is drawing the firing that happened at Jamia on the 30th, injuring one student.
For Sanjeel, who is painting the 15th December incident, painting is more than just copying from an image. “I do not want to make an exact replica, everybody has seen that, I want to draw something that has some abstract meanings.”
The wall paintings are visually stunning and their messages are distinct and clear. “It is important for the messages to be distinct and relatable, because here our motive is to get our messages out more than our visual drawing process,” Sanjeel adds.
Jamia has been under heavy police deployment for over a month now, and police personnel can be seen strolling down the street looking at these artworks. On the police reaction to these paintings, Samreen, a fine arts graduate from Jamia says, “They asked once, how much money do I get for this, and I replied, do you really think we do this for money?”
Samreen further states that she no longer feels afraid of the police, as “There’s nothing much left to fear.”