Barbed Wire Mentality

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Petr Pavlensky, The Carcass

What can you do but write and expect it to pass through the obscenity of the world? I come from a place where home is not a sanctuary but a cage and one prefers the scintillating sharp edges of barbed wire to the comfortable homes of a yet-to-burn colony.

My words, they tell me, will soon be overshadowed by the pictorial misrepresentations of situations people have preconceived notions about. And yet I sit here, trying to pierce through the thick hearts of those who can’t see beyond the imagery of a naked man in barbed wire.

“Nakedness is a sign of obscenity, vulgarity and something a commoner wouldn’t perceive as art.”

But do you see the metaphorical pain of a haphazard artist who thought to feel the cuts of a razor-edge wire as a way to show the world what my words are unable to? He bared his body and his mind to the world through the pictures challenging the repressive policies of Big Brother but what would you, the commoner know about it?

You would just look at the lines of his body and the shadows they cast and laugh about the girl who thought she could write something to sway your eyes on the black and white of the screen. But here’s to hoping I manage to do it.

The barbed wire mentality is not that of the ignorant who are too innocent to know any better. Nor is it of geniuses who know everything and thus, prefer not to interfere. It is mine and yours- the inbetweeners who shrug our shoulders when it is time to roll up our sleeves. It is the “what would happen” thought one discards right before burning down someone’s livelihood. It is the aftermath of a failure of conscience and the hundreds of consciousnesses it darkens along.

The barbed wire isn’t for the educated or the illiterate or the rich or the poor. It does not help the strong or crush the weak. I must say, there, it does not discriminate. But hate is an inevitable conclusion of fifteen streets closed with razor-sharp wires.

And fear is a tagalong that peeks out from the backseat.

I come from a city that has not burned in seventy-five years to the extent that it burns today. But it is the barbed-wire mentality that will decide whether the fire is for light or destruction. We are all prisoners of our minds and must inevitably surrender to our own subconscious thoughts.

Here’s to hoping we don’t become monsters in the end, too large for the cages that confine us.

The writer is the editor-in-chief of

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