Bangladeshi artist Fawaz Rob’s artwork voted best in PenhArt International Exhibition
Fawaz Rob's artwork, "Long Walk Home" was voted as the best entry among all participants at PenhArt International Exhibition. Jurors and audience voted his work to be the best among eighty participants from all over the world, including France, Japan, USA, and UK. "I am very delighted to receive this international award," says Fawaz. "An artist has the responsibility to stand up against the evil of his era. The dehumanization of Muslim communities across the world is the tragedy of our time. The agonies of Rohingyas, Palestinians, or Uyghurs are tactfully being ignored and the International organisations have collectively failed these people. If my art can bring world attention to the sufferings of Rohingyas, then my purpose is served."
Fawaz studied at universities in San Francisco (USA) and Florence (Italy). He is a practicing architect and taught at NSU's architecture department for ten years. A self-taught artist, his first solo exhibition was held in Paris and featured in "Le Parisien" magazine. He is an active member of Bangladeshi printmakers and has taught hundreds of students the art of printmaking. PenhArt is a prestigious international exhibition that showcases the contemporary art scene. "Our jury followed the criteria of trying to select artworks with powerful ideas, beautiful execution, innovative techniques and concepts related to contemporary issues." stated one juror. "Fawaz's art touches on the hardship and challenges faced by the Rohingya refugees from Burma."
Fawaz explained his philosophy behind "Long Walk Home".
"More than a million Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma. Their homes destroyed, family members killed, crops burned. As the UN moves at a glacial pace, and China keeps vetoing any resolution to hold the Burmese military to justice, Rohingyas suffer in refugee camps. Despite many challenges, Bangladesh has been a great host. But the apathy of the international community is unsustainable," he notes.
"It is baffling to see good, honest, educated people dehumanizing Muslims. Everyday people rejecting or fearing refugees when they are the ones suffering the most. The sad truth is these everyday people are victims of cleverly controlled information. The people in the power successfully use social media to advance their agenda. Facebook, the propaganda machine of industrial-scale is sold to the highest bidder. The magnanimity of digital crime will one day be studied in universities. But it doesn't matter to these refugees. They are ignored by all. Most people just want to go home. Rohingyas are just walking back home. They walk to remember a home they can no longer go back to. They walk to find a home that they don't know – a long walk home."
Fawaz is the first Bangladeshi to win an International award as a printmaker in Cambodia. He brings attention to the printmaking scene of Bangladesh and a tremendous honourr for the country at a time when Bangladesh is seen as an emerging economy.