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An Incomplete Assignment

On 16th of December 2014, seven gunmen stormed into the Army Public School in Peshawar, brutally killing 141 people - including 132 school children aged 8-15 years. This was the deadliest terrorist attack ever occurred in Pakistan; one that sparked widespread reactions across the globe.

For me, ‘132’ is more than just a number; what also matters is the impact of every loss of life on the people around. The background of this sad event was political. After formation of democratic government in Afghanistan the terrorist organizations that were fighting in Afghanistan, escaped to the Federal Administrative Tribal Area (FATA) , which is located on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. They used to conduct terrorist attacks in the adjacent Afghan-Pakistan cities. That was the time when American government started drone operations against these organizations, destroying their hideouts where the terrorists were living with their families. The school massacre was a reaction to those drone attacks and therefore those organizations have targeted the army school, where the majority of attendants were the children of Pakistani Army officials. A statement from the terrorists came after the attack, claiming: “Since our kids are getting killed by your allies’ drones, you also deserve to taste the same pain”.

My role in this project is more of a curator than a creator. Firstly i came up with 132 incomplete drawings of various school-related objects and than with the collaboration of the same number of kids from two different schools in Wroclaw, Poland, I completed these drawings. Without explaining the nature of the project, I asked them to color the drawings just like a normal school assignment.

The aim of the project was to bring people close and paint a bigger picture that the pain is universal. Through this project, I want people to feel the emotions of hundreds of thousands of people who were directly or indirectly affected by the passing away of 132 children.

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