Politics in sand Maldivian artist Afzal Shaafiu Hasan has brought his island country’s traditions to all his art – his paintings, sketches, and even to the national postage stamps he’s designed. But its his most recent medium that’s made him a sensation. It seems only fitting that he should use sand – the fine white sand of the famous tourist resorts that most people know the Maldives from – to express the beauty and pain surrounding his people. Sand activist When the democratically elected president Nasheed was ousted during a Coup on the 7th of February, people took to the streets protesting against the new regime. The images of the police lashing out at the protesters are engraved on the collective memory of Maldivians though largely unknown to the rest of the world. The slide show below is an illustration of the captivating performance art that Hasan creates with nothing more than light, shadows and sand, conjuring an eerily lifelike rendition of the violence that wracked his people during the coup. He named the piece Baton Day.
Can you imagine a country without a court? That’s how we were, says Aishath Velezinee. As a member of the Judicial Service Commission she was in charge of reforming the Maldives’ judicial system after years of dictatorship. But the country’s brief period of democracy didn’t last. This February democratically elected president Nasheed was ousted in a coup. “Before we elected Nasheed we removed a dictator,” Velezinee says, “but we failed to remove his regime.”