After much thought I have boiled it down to this simple argument.

I am not an adherent to any of the major religions because NONE of the major religions EXPLICITLY bans slavery. If the concept of slavery is more shocking to my inner self and being than the very texts from which I am supposed to find meaning; then these texts are lacking in the morals which I naturally have. We are all wired for natural empathy via the mirror neurons in our brain. I would never want to see another conscious being become the slave of another; I would never want my consciousness to become the property of another.

There is no freedom of religion in the Maldives. I believe this dominion over peoples minds is a form of slavery.

This leads us to WHY slavery is not explicitly banned in any religion. The slave trade was simply too big an economy to completely disown. To be against it would make one appear weak and would have made expanding ones ideology and empire difficult.

The same reasons apply for why there isn’t any freedom of religion in the Maldives. It simply makes it so much easier for the powers that be to control the population under the twin banners of dogma and nationalism. If you think there is no freedom of religion in the Maldives because our rulers well and truly want us all to go to heaven; then there should probably be a picture of you next to definition of “naive” in Merriam Webster. If you find this line of thinking offensive, I’d like to reiterate how much more offensive slavery is.

The argument that “it was how things were” does not make any sense at all as the entire purpose of a divine religion is to change paradigms and norms. For example, in certain parts of the world Judaism was “how things were” until Christianity and then Islam became the norm. Throughout these changes there was one constant - Slavery. Arguments that certain slavers were “kinder” to their slaves because of their preferred scripture is like dismissing murder by strangulation simply because they used chloroform to ease the initial cries.

In other words, slavery was not banned because it still served the earthly purposes of human greed and desire. If there are gods or godessess or other higher beings, then the purpose of following their apparent teachings is for guidance - because humans are apparently lowly creatures who are deficient in internal rational and empathetic facilities. We look to texts in order to compensate for these apparent deficiencies.

So my argument is this. If major religions are all they are made up to be, and if humans are really that deficient and faulty - why was it only through the empathetic actions, rational thoughts and discussions of humans that slavery eventually became to be viewed as something unsavory?

Why did the only just guidance come from within humanity and not from some external force? If all prophets were the last prophet, why did none of them ban slavery?

This is not my argument for why all religions are bad or why all religious people are bad. A lack of excess of religiosity does not make a person “good” or “bad”. Each person is a conscious individual and the reasons for their actions are always complicated - the only thing that is certain is that all individuals should have control over their own destiny. The concept of slavery stands against this very simple fact and is an affront to humanity and our continued evolution; and this is why it is my central argument for following no religion - I am not a slave, I will not be a slave, and I wish no other humans to become slaves.

Everyone has the right, or rather the capacity - as that right is rarely fully given, to believe what they wish to believe and this is what I believe. Furthermore everyone has the right to discuss things and express their thoughts, so please feel free to discuss these issues. You are not a slave. Let your voice be heard.

Tome


First attempt at making a fractal animation in photoshop. This is 73 individual frames. Pretty excited to see what else is possible now that I’ve got the basics down. 

image

Following recent orders by former Supreme Leader and current CEO Yameen Abdul Gayoom, the beautifully luxuriously exclusive dazzling remarkable tropical island nation has officially been rebranded as Maldives PVT LTD (formerly the Republic of the Maldives).

Yameen stated that this is the “most efficient” way and that his decision was backed up by 30 years of solid research by his older brother and despot extraordinaire Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and his team of Mafioso gangsters neoliberal economists.

He stated that a new constitution was in the works which would redefine citizens as drones employees. The handy manual would detail the terms of employment and would also feature a 4503 page supplementary package (in a suitably miniscule and hard to read Dhivehi font) outlining how every minute of every hour of every day is to be spent for the rest of the unit’s person’s life. The terms he said, would be non-negotiable and immediately binding to all current and future citizens.

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"Irony is a beautiful woman wearing too much makeup"

I still have no idea why people are perfectly fine by being assaulted by advertisements on walls, buses, every surface imaginable, not to mention the internet, with ads pretty much screamed out at you at every click, while still having a problem with graffiti. I would much rather see some art than someone trying to sell me some crap I don’t need. I don’t know how to resolve the issue of legality except point out that we really don’t have a choice but to absorb information when we are bombarded by ads. No body asked me if they could fill up my mind with memories of corporate nonsense. The way we are saturated in advertisements is far more destructive to society than some person who’s found a healthy outlet for his frustrations in the form of art. When you stumble upon some good graffiti, it’s such an uplifting feeling. 

Think about it for a second. This person probably had better (or more destructive) things he or she could be doing. They could have been shooting up some heroin. They could have been robbing some fools. They could have been setting fire to some buildings. They could have been fighting some war for someone who couldn’t give a rats ass whether or not they lived or died. They could have been sitting around wasting their lives away getting obese on junk food, checking facebook and waiting for the next episode of their favourite tv show to come out. Instead this person decides to go out and find somewhere he or she won’t get arrested for letting their minds bleed out onto a wall. It isn’t for money or fame. It isn’t even permanent. What other artform has people this passionate about it while at the same time being as ephemeral? 

Why is this such a horrible thing? Shouldn’t we be celebrating this breakthrough? That someone has broken free in this world that is so dominated by the idea that we should fit into this infernal global machine? All artists start somewhere. We should stop being so terrified of them. 

Image from one of my timelapses of Tasmanian graffiti artists. Watch the full video at: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qaGflWiUFI

One of the ziarah at Eydhafushi cemetery. It looked like someone was smoking heroin in there. Everything was broken down. The traditional pillows were tattered and torn on the ground. No idea how old it is or who was buried there. 

8 second exposure, light from phone. Baa Atoll Eydhafushi, Maldives, 2013. 

www.hani-amir.com

www.facebook.com/PhotographyIsHaram

View on flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/haniamir/12950806564/lightbox/

  1. Camera: Nikon D3100
  2. Aperture: f/4
  3. Exposure: 8"
  4. Focal Length: 18mm

dhivehi:

 Hussain Ali Manik

  1. Camera: Nikon D7100
  2. Aperture: f/8
  3. Exposure: 1/500th
  4. Focal Length: 29mm
"That double-team technique by Jehohva’s witnesses types is so weird. The guy starts talking to you and the moment he starts to notice how you’ve begun to slowly close the door the girl starts chiming in with a way too bright and shiny smile and altogether checking you out way too much (perhaps next time I shall wear the niqab to protect myeslf from the prying eyes of these heathens!). At this point they try a second or third time to pass one of their leaflets after a whole bunch of questions of where I’m from and how I got here (brown guy in Australia? clearly an immigrant!); their expressions getting more urgent & pleading as if asking “WHY DON’T YOU WANT TO BE SAVED, HAVEN’T YOU HEARD OF JEBUS?!” with their eye lasers. The first time out of curiosity I did accept the super-package of leaflets and they all seemed like a more politically-correct and perhaps more tense-under-the-surface version of what the radicals spread in the Maldives. There was a lengthy section about how the “media is lying to you!!!” (OMG REALLY?) and how society would surely crumble if they weren’t there to guide you into their version of the light; sprinkled in with some lovely pseudo-science ofcourse. They seem to be trying to indoctrinate the students, especially the Chinese ones, coming to UTAS. Both times they came by they said they were looking for someone with a Chinese name before quickly switching gears and trying to sell me their wares (why aren’t they more concerned for poor Xiao? Perhaps he is stuck down a well? Maybe we should create a search party?). Little do they know that their nice white shirts, summer dresses and forced politeness is no comparison to a scary looking guy with a massive beard, who looks like they just fell out of the side of a medieval Arabian caravan, screaming at you bilingually about how his way IS THE ONLY WAY DAMMIT. There wasn’t even one darkly veiled threat about how evil or “jew-like” I am for not listening to them or accepting their leaflet. They didn’t even use reverb effects or lament some foreign conflict to make me falsely sympathetic to their largely un-related cause! Amateurs! All in all I’d give them a 3.5 out of 10. Would not convert."

Some badass clocks with my fractal designs are now avaiable for purchase at Society6! Woot woot! Taking over the whole damn clock game :D

http://society6.com/Haniamir/wall-clocks