One can be “thrilled” and “enthusiastic” over the painting by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch all the want but it is not that simple to understand it, to feel the state of the master who was trying to depict the severe stress condition. It is all about the expressiveness of the colour, the composition, the small man frozen in an emotional trance. These days, however, we only need to look straight at the horrible face of the war that is happening right now – it will already be enough to hear his cry for help, to feel the fear in his eyes, to experience the hopelessness and the suffering he has been going through.
How did we end up here? How did we find ourselves in this place? How could we let them kill innocent children, women and old people? Why do we send our sons and daughters to the war? Did anybody actually threaten us? We are responsible for what is happening! All of us, without exception! Some should take the blame because they participate in this madness. They come together at the stadiums and yell like they’re mad when welcoming the dictator. Others remain silent, hoping it will pass somehow and they will get away with it. Some are already imprisoned, and nobody can hear their voices because they’re being tortured! There are also us – we are trying to be heard. Only few will hear our voices at first, but we should try our best and make ourselves loud.
Look at the destroyed cities that were once drowning in the blooming chestnuts and roses. Open your eyes wide and look around: buds are swelling on the trees and about to break free in riotous colours! Think about the spiralling laws of life: you might not even see the blossom if you refuse to yield to reason right now! You might not see another spring if you don’t try and hear those who are dying at the moment, those who are shivering from fear in a basement because they’re bombing their town! They are freezing. They don’t have water. They no longer have their cozy home. They can’t have their normal family dinner together because the place where they used to have it no longer exists. It’s the scream, the Munch’s scream that sends chills down your spine. It’s the moans you can hear from every direction. It’s the deafening sounds of deadly weapons – the Music of today! The screams of pain and despair are dampening the music of love and joy. The scream of a little human from the past keeps reminding the modern humanity of the suffering today, and it’s endless! It’s endless..!
Are we really going to let them go on and ruin this fascinating world? We are responsible for its mere existence. Drop by drop, the vessel is being filled. Word by word – our minds reflect. Let’s hold each other’s hand tight. Let’s keep reaching out for them. We’ve got power to create. We’ve got power to stop this madness.
Let’s do everything we can to turn the screams of fear into joyful laughter!
Aan Essay by Cathie Cayros