Rebelle [Dalia ElCharbini]
Graphite, 24K gold leaf on illustration board
32" x 40"
This piece was inspired by a critique of societal norms that I came across in Khalil Jibran’s book "Spirits Rebellious," criticizing the expectations placed upon individuals by parents, religious or authority figures, and government systems. These entities often demand conformity to their standards without considering the individual's unique pursuit of happiness or their understanding of deeper truths. The Arabic excerpt featured in ‘Rebelle’ speaks to the idea that blindly following conventions just because "everyone else does it'' leads to inevitable misery. It also criticizes those who pass judgment without true understanding and calls out individuals who persecute and unjustly judge others, emphasizing the need for compassion and a deeper understanding of human nature.
Translation of the featured excerpt from Khalil Jibran’s Book - Spirits Rebellious:
“The father says to you, 'You are disobedient if you don't do as I do.' The priest says to you, 'You are a disbeliever and a sinner if you don't pray like me.' The court says, 'You are a criminal if you don't follow my laws.' And you answer them: why? They say, 'Because all people do that.' You cry, 'People are miserable, and I want to be happy.' They answer, 'Just be like all people because you're not better than them.' They will tell you more than that because the ghosts of their fathers are still living in their bodies. They are like the deserted caves of the mountains that echo voices whose meanings are not understood. They neither understand the law of God, nor comprehend the true intent of veritable religion, nor distinguish between a sinner and an innocent. They look only at the surface of objects without knowing their secrets. They pass their verdicts with ignorance and judge with blindness, making the criminal and the innocent, the good and the bad, equal. Woe to those who persecute and judge the people.”
— Khalil Gibran.
Hidden words on the eyelids read, “Stay Woke”