To Copy an Artist- My Take on Edel Rodriguez's "Unamed Bangladesh Genocide" Piece

Here is my painted image that I created attempting to copy the original artist. Please see the original image at the end of the post.

From March 26th to December 16th, 1971, a genocide was committed against the Bengali, Bihari Muslims, and Hindu peoples in East Pakistan. The genocide lasted almost nine months and it is estimated that between 300,000 to upwards of 3,000,000 were killed, became refugees or displaced peoples, or survived genocidal war crimes- these numbers are disputed with some independent researchers suggesting that the number of deaths was closer to 500,000 while the higher number is accepted and put forth by the current Bangladesh government. The perpetrators of the violence came from a few groups of peoples; the Pakistan armed forces, supporting Islamist militias which included Al-Badr and Al-Shams, and members of the Muslim League. This genocide came about during a war for independence and is thought to have started with the planned military intervention called Operation Searchlight, which was carried out by the Pakistani army to try and curb some of the nationalist groups fighting for an independent state. The Indian army joined in the fighting after tensions along its border with India erupted with Pakistan declaring war on India. When the Pakistani army surrendered unconditionally to Indian forces in December the genocide ceased and the remaining Pakistani soldiers became prisoners of war.

This genocide has had some long-lasting effects both on the country and its peoples. The independent state of Bangladesh was created out of parts of Pakistani territory, along with a full constitution that mirrored some aspects of the Indian Constitution. As many of the targeted attacked during the genocide affected students and the intelligentsia of the country, these murders led to vacancies in important positions both in government and higher education. In the aftermath of the genocide, famine, malnutrition and the extremely high number of displaced people/ refugees needed to be addressed. Cold war tensions increased around the world as the Soviet Union became aligned with independent Bangladesh’s ally India. The current Bangladesh government has instituted an International War Crimes Tribunal and laws have been introduced to make genocide denial a hate crime, but there are some critics who suggest that these laws are being used to punish political dissidents rather than the participants in genocide.

This artwork was created by Edel Rodriguez who is a fairly prolific Cuban-American artist. His illustrations and artwork have been found in children’s books, on popular magazine covers, art galleries, etc… This particular piece was published with an op-ed article titled “The Politics of Bangladesh’s Genocide Debate.” I was unable to uncover the name of the piece nor any mention by the artist on his motivation for its creation. What I see in it is a strong hand pressing down on the skulls of the dead… expressing the power that a few had over the lives of the many who then lost their lives according to the desires of that power. I also see the hand as it pushes down on the bones of its victims as an act attempting to silence them and hide the evidence of death and genocide. While this piece of art is relatively simple in its black and white coloring and lined images, it evokes the emotions and horror that acts of genocide bring to the surface.


Gratitude - 12/11/2017

1. I am so grateful for a working car. It may not look like much, but it gets me to where I need to go and that is a blessing.

2. I am grateful for the discovery of cooked turkey for cat food. Melrose is never full and the quantity of food that skinny cat can eat is phenomenal. Being able to fill a bowl with shreds of roast turkey has been a godsend the last week or so. I'm going to cook another one this weekend.

3. I am grateful for my toes. Lately, they have started to pull apart and pop right out of their sockets which has been very uncomfortable, but I can easily move them back into place each and every time. I don't have to see doctors or deal with much more than the discomfort of their movement and I can still stand and walk well. Toes are amazing little critters and I can't imagine how well I would stand without them no matter how hypermobile they are..

4. Somewhere in this world, someone is probably being chased by a lion or another animal that doesn't have benign intentions towards them. I am grateful that I am safe and warm at home and do not have to worry about my safety.

5. I am grateful for hugs.

6. I love my feline companions and cannot imagine a world without them. They truly enrich my life so many times a day that I could never keep count.

7. I am thankful for an amazing ex who made me leftovers for the beginning of this week so that i could focus on other things.

8. I feel a bit sad that Cuddles needed to be put to sleep this week, but I am so grateful for the time and love she gave me. An unexpected blessing when she cam into my life, but he is already missed. Bug is already trying to con me into getting another one to hug. Bug really loves hugs and so do I :)

9. I love CPR students who really want to learn and take joy in the learning. It make teaching a joyful and fulfilling process.

10. I am so happy that Remus is doing so, so well. He seems happy and doesn't seem to miss his tail at all. He is just settling in to feeling happy and healthy. That is a relief and joy to write. So...

11. I am grateful to amazing veterinarians so help try and make pets and furry companions live healthy, happy lives. I don't know what I would do without them in the background ready when I need them. Having a good relationship with a veterinarian is just as important to me as the relationship that I have with my own doctor so I am thankful that I have that... even if I use him way too much sometimes.

What are you thankful for today?


Gratitude- 12/4/2017

1. I love having the opportunity to volunteer in my community. I work alongside so many nice women with a multitude of life experiences and I love hearing about their lives and family.

2. I love my Bug. He is a mixture of wonderful and frustrating in a gorgeous teenage package. Watching him eat (and the quantity of it) reminds me of myself decades ago. It makes me smile.

3. I love my Nook. I got it for wicked cheap when I was in Utah visiting my grandfather for the last time and I love haven't a book to read anywhere that I go. It's so convenient to curl up with and gives me more options for reading.... with four huge bookshelves in my house I could use some more 'compact' storage. :)

4. I love having the opportunity to draw and goof off with pastels, pencils and trying to re-create the images that are the brainchild of other artists... so I can read about their motivations and try to learn to recreate their images. A challenging but fun process.

5. I love having my own Minion. His purr and weight are extremely comforting and he is simply a mellow soul and quite gorgeous.

6. I am grateful for my pile of blankets. It is a joy to be able to have enough blankets that if one gets dirty I can change it without having to plan a quick trip to the laundromat.

7. I am grateful for sister-in-laws. Some of the most powerful blessings and relationships in my life have come from these two women. I am more grateful to them for their care and friendship that I can express.

8. I am grateful for post it notes. They are extremely convenient as I wade through piles of paperwork and prepare different tasks simultaneously. They are a bit silly, but make planning ahead easier.

9. I am grateful for canned pears- they are so good and I can eat them all year including December in Maine. Enough said.

10. I am so thankful that Remus got his surgery today. That takes a load off of my mind and will make his life so much easier and pain free. Tail today... gone tomorrow.

What are you grateful for today?