8 March 2013

Dear friends, This year I decided to express my solidarity with International Woman’s Day with an image of Malala Yousafzai. (ملاله یوسفزۍ)

I call it an image rather than a portrait because it more closely resembles the many posters that I painted in my youth, both upon request and to express my own convictions. The primary impulse to tell a story like this stems from elsewhere, and expressing its emotion takes an entirely different route. But let me not give you a lecture on my personal definition of what a portrait is, or is not.

In reality the story of this girl - practically a child - struck me forcibly and made my blood run cold. As I felt long ago and still believe, I could not avoid what I considered my personal responsibility to contribute to intensifying / reinforcing / perpetuating our memory of this heroic young Pakistani.

May you find in her the inspiration / courage to raise your voice and proclaim your most cherished dreams, and someday the day will come...

In the meantime, I wish you a good 8 Marzo.

p.s. Some may wonder why I chose François Couperin to go with this painting. There is no special reason, except that I long listened to his music while I painted, and the music finally became, for me, inseparable from Malala herself.

I chose from the 4th book the piece called “L’Audacieuse”, and who more than her may deserves this adjective.
(Translation by: Marian Bremer)

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