At one time an accepted, but absurd point of view was that artists shouldn't concern themselves with politics or world affairs.
It would reveal ignorance and disrespect regarding artists who have expressed themselves throughout history, naturally including our own critical epoch, not only aesthetically, but also in defence of what they believe in and defend.
This also brings to mind once more Delara Darabi, the young Iranian artist who was callously murdered, more for her personal convictions and for being a young female artist it seems, than for any crime she was officially convicted for. We have no right to forget such victims of tyranny. Tyrannic regimes who pretend to represent God (or 'national security interests') and use religion (or 'national security interests') as a pretext to support international terrorism, and continue to subjugate and terrorise their own people.
How many artists have been slaughtered in Syria? Not necessarily because they were artists, writers or photographers, but because like so many others, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The situation in Syria has reached a point where the democratic world is becoming an accomplice to crimes against humanity by continuing to sit idly by pondering on the incoherent possibility that the majority of those representing the opposition might be linked to terrorists.
Over the last three years we have seen too many authentic images of innocent victims (women and children) murdered by the Syrian regime, to allow ourselves the right to continue to reach such cynical, detached conclusions. We have had enough proof from the reports of even Syrian members of the regime, government ministers and high officials who have quit in disgust, or from Syrian officers and soldiers who, rather than continue to massacre civilians with heavy weapons, have preferred to risk their own lives by deserting the Syrian army.
Certainly members of al-Qaida have been able to infiltrate amongst the forces of the opposition hoping to take advantage of the Syrian instability. They have virtually been allowed to do so, thanks to the vacuum of non-engagement of the so-called Arabian 'Friends of Syria', or the hesitant European and American supporters of the opposition.
The Russian authorities continue to bark from the side-lines, but less convincingly so. Unlike Iran, they no longer bark unequivocal threats. And one hears less from China these days. Unofficially both would hardly disapprove of Assad being permanently removed, as long as stability is eventually re-established in Syria. But in any event that would be quite another question.
Obviously there has never been any foreign intervention in Egypt, and the nation is still far from reaching any durable stability.
In this concern Catherine Ashton seems to be totally out of clink with reality, demanding the release of Mohamed Morsi and expecting that democracy will result from allowing him the freedom he needs to continue to gradually impose a form of Islamic totalitarianism.
The election of Morsi may well have been an incontestable, democratic result, but it's also an example of how democracy can become its own enemy. And the same situation could eventually result in Lebanon, despite its constitution. Indeed it could be the eventual European objective of most Moslem fundamentalists. A simple question of statistics. Socialists seem to reason in the same way. A question of persuasion (bribe) and numbers.
Hasn't Ashton been aware of how the Egyptian army have been totally engaged in trying to assure and defend Egyptian democracy since the beginning of the Egyptian uprising? Had the Egyptian army wanted to impose and benefit from military rule, they would and could easily have done so right from the beginning.
We are wandering from Syria, but everything that is taking place in the Middle-East is naturally related. And how Europe, the USA and Israel react to the evolution of events is also increasingly critical. Silence can sometimes be interpreted as complicity, and vague evocations can be interpreted as hypocritical dismissals or ignorance. Tyranny is able to exploit all forms of apathy.
Like many others I sometimes comment on articles published in Le Point. This article, for example, was published the 5th August, 2013. My own reaction to it then, unfortunately appears to have anticipated the alleged use of chemical weapons. The video published the 22nd August, 2013 in Le Point of a young survivor, a terrorised Syrian girl screaming, 'I'm alive', seems to add weight to the criminal use of such weapons. The opposition maintain that this attack against a suburb of Damascus caused the death of 1300 civilians. But the actual death toll of this particular attack and the cause of the deaths still have to be proved.
However, according to MSF (Médecins sans frontières) who already had the opportunity to make their own first analysis, 355 deceased victims had neuro-toxic symptoms and 3600 still surviving cases being treated have exactly the same symptoms. In view of this, the accusations from the Syrian regime and Iran, that the chemical weapons attack was made by the rebels, seems totally incoherent.
In any case UNO are well aware of the fact that at least 7000 Syrian children have been killed in the last 30 months. The total number of victims during the last two and a half years amounts to over 100,000.
It comes as some comfort that Washington has at last 'deployed troops' in the Mediterranean. But whether such a 'deployment' is simply an Obama token show of strength, or the beginning of a real engagement for an eventual attack against a criminal regime, remains to be seen.
Text by Mirino. Images by Delara Darabi, also in hommage and with grateful thanks to her family. August, 2013