“Mujh say pehli see mohabbat maray mahboob naa mang”
As translated: Beloved, do not ask me to love you as I loved you before.
First verse of critically acclaimed and awarded poem written in the early 1960’s by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, one of the most celebrated writers of the Urdu language.
Faiz had been awarded as a Nobel Prize nominee and Lenin Peace Prize for his influential works in relation to communism and socialism. This poem, similar to early Islamic sufi poetry was written in fashion as an ode to a Lover but was revered for highlighting Faiz’s critiques of capitalism and the socio-economic impact to society, which Faiz viewed as negative in relation to increasing effects of individual and corporate wealth and widening of the poverty gap.
This timeless ode, speaks in parallel to the effects of American capitalism that we see today. Individual opportunity and economic pressures has had an adverse impact on the creative industry as well, where creativity has now become second to financial bottom line. This has become increasingly prevalent and obvious with the introduction of private equity acquisitions of fashion and art based businesses. This begs the question of true creativity can exist if guided and based on corporate motivation. Thus, Faiz describes his cynicism in one line as “Do not ask me to love you as I loved you before”. Is our creative freedom truly free?
There are similarities of this disparity globally, displayed in all parts of the world. In Bahrain, the sovereignty of the Nation was decided on in 1971, when the people of Bahrain wished to gain recognition of their identity in a full and independent sovereign State as their own entity. However, since then the nation has much adversity due to the challenges of various lobbies and corrupt leadership resulting in disruption, revolution, and uprising. With such external and internal political pressures, the question remains of whether true freedom and liberation can ever be achieved.
It’s very easy to ignore the impact of larger political and socio-economic issues, and as individuals we tend to shrug off what we believe doesn’t impact our life and personal well being. However, with increased globalization, and knowledge of diversity and perspectives, we hope to find unity in finding the similarities in our differences. The brand serves as a reminder, to continue to find hope and pursue freedom, in a system where at times it may feel hard to do so. If we can form together as a community in the hopes of sharing our ideas and opportunities which each other, together we can create a world where there is true freedom; where creation is a product of love, love for humanity and each other.