Why Black Lives Matter to me?

As part of a generation of Bangladeshis who experienced and witnessed systemic oppression that eventually led to a movement of self-determination resulting in the Liberation War, the injustice and institutionalized prejudice faced by black communities strikes a chord with me. v

The Black Lives Matter movement, in its essence, is a movement for the self-determination of black communities. A fight to reclaim their power by asserting their right to exist. A fight for equality and justice, so black individuals are free to pursue their destinies with equal opportunities.
This is why Black Lives Matter to me.

The pain associated with racial discrimination universally resonates with marginalized communities, drawing on a shared experience of being persecuted simply because of who we are.

As a Bangladeshi artist of indigenous origin, themes of discrimination and oppression in the context of indigenous minorities are integral to my work. From that space, the injustices inflicted upon black communities is an experience I deeply relate to.

Prejudice should not exist at this point in human history. Yet it persists in every facet of life. We need to stand together against racial prejudice to demand all people are afforded equal treatment, irrespective of the colour of our skin.
This is why Black Lives Matter to me.

We embrace the colour black in almost all aspects, except when it comes to the colour of our skin. When a person’s skin is dark, the term “black” automatically takes on a negative connotation.

Anti-black sentiments are almost embedded into our collective perspective. There’s an inclination toward perceiving “black” as less than. These sentiments tie into our perception of Black bodies. The unique features that define Black bodies and are a part of their identity are too often declared unattractive and undesirable.

I relate to the struggle of black individuals from the perspective of anti-black sentiments that attack the black identity. I celebrate and explore the unique beauty of features that define the black identity.
This is why Black Lives Matter to me.

As an artist, from a humanistic perspective, the harmonious existence of humans of all colours, cultures, and creed feels absolutely normal for all societies.

But, when faced with incidents like the murder of a black man instigated by institutionalized prejudice at this point in human history, it forces us to question, “Why does this happen?!”

George Floyd’s murder is one of countless instances of unchecked systemic racism and police brutality suffered by black individuals. A glaring example of how black people are wronged by a system built upon their labour, but designed to discriminate against them. Police brutality is but one example of ways in which institutionalized racism devalues black lives.
This is why Black Lives Matter to me.

The incident of George Floyd’s brutal murder hit me hard. The more I learned about the global BLM movement, I realized how universal the issues of discrimination and prejudice are.

In the hope to build a more “equal” world and a better future for our next generation, we need to come together in solidarity and rise up against oppression in all forms.
This is why Black Lives Matter to me.