In 2003 I painted this series of 4 paintings called "Steadfast." It was a time of growing political and military intimidation. Among the people of the world, fear and terror was taking over. It still prevails today, all over the world.
We are living in deeply terrible times. People killing strangers. People killing their brethren. People supporting or justifying such actions of others. People disregarding their own humanity in order to justify disregarding the humanity of others. Political intimidation from agencies of power is such a constant that it has become the norm to ignore it and to censor oneself, to go about one's private affairs without any concern for the circumstances of others. Daily brutality, horror and death are the overbearing tools of repression. Common people in many places dream of the day when they can find one peaceful moment in which they can imagine what hope and peace are like. In
, social stagnation, racism, haughty elitism and a feudal mindset holds the population in decrepit shackles. Sectarian hatred and violence abound. In Lebanon , an endless, belligerent, mass enslavement & torture of an entire people has lead to an agonizing despair that has driven people to surrender themselves to the internal cancer of suicidal abandon and wretched self-destruction. In Palestine , people have allowed themselves to be lead in reverse to a hellish backwardness of savage annihilation that is impossible to believe. In Iraq , racist massacres eradicate or expel entire tribes, while distant zionists exploit the situation to distract from their own genocidal actions. In Sudan Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunis, Morocco, , and many others we know, hundreds of millions of people live in utter psychological enslavement and obedience to kings, generals and buffoons who recognize nothing of human rights and know nothing of respect for human liberty. Bahrain
Today, as it was 4 years ago when I painted these four paintings, as it was a half a century ago when the world massacred each other and Palestine was usurped, as it was millennia ago when empires swept over the globe to enslave the minds of the masses in ignorance and war, today the common innocent people still stand STEADFAST, as the world rushes past them, screeching like a duststorm at the heels of a devastating horde. The air feels historic, but in a dreadful, brutal way. They stand in their spaces, attempting to withstand the gusts of power, violence and intimidation; they clutch at the memories of theirselves and their origins, protecting them from the tormenting currents that coil around them; each of them admonished, enduring the terror of the storm. In these blinding times of greed, confusion and reprisal, they steal glimpses into their secret inner knowings, to define and redefine identity and belonging, struggling against injustice and exclusion, reaching for truth, and envisioning an ideal that still writhes in mid-transformation.