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2011 As Seen Through Art



When a major world event occurs, human beings naturally gravitate together, express feelings, and share memories. And while news websites have a responsibility to present stories as a matter of fact, deviantART has the unique ability to showcase emotions and humanity through art.

 

2011 was full of emotional events the world around, and our community responded at unprecedented levels. From natural disasters to historical celebrations, entertainment milestones to tearful goodbyes, our community spoke out like no other community can — artistically, creatively, and emotionally. In many ways, last year marked the final chapter of a few eras, opening the door to new beginnings for 2012. Let's take a look...








January











The Arab Spring movement continues with Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ousted from Tunisia.

14















25

Egypt's revolution begins.












February











AOL Inc. announces
its acquisition of
The Huffington Post.

7












Nintendo's successful game franchise "The Legend of Zelda" celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first game's release.

21















17

Libya's "Day of Rage" protest is held, kicking off what will eventually become a successful full-scale rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi.







Libya, 2011

i. cartography

revolutions
fly east, a
21st century
trans-saharan
trade, where
the desert
grit-wind
blows. the sahara
kicks sandstorms,
brief, wavering
oases, gashes
into the skin
of your people.

brega falls.
the westerners
arrive in time
for benghazi,
and your land
bends subject
to sanded annals
of hindsight
battle jargon.
routed. ras anuf, lost.
two killed, five wounded,
one missing.


ii. ajdabiya

a boy
spray-paints
viva la libye
under the overpass.
you crunch
over bottles
and brown grass,
wait. he turns,
the rebel flag
tied around
his head:
red, black,
true green.
grab a gun,
you say.
a fighter plane
roars overhead.
his eyes
are dark
and young.
grab a gun,
or go home.


he fancies himself
a revolutionary;
you fancy him
stupid. and thank
allah
, you think,
as he hesitates
before flipping
over the fence,
he is afraid.

iii. the government channel

everything is okay.
flash green.
fine, okay,
everything
in its place. the
newscaster's eyes
run black. flash
green. flash green.

iv. great socialist people's libyan arab jamahiriya

he would
have you
as terrorists
in your own
country. his
spokesman, mid-speech,
pauses. he sweats.

they say
these bullets
touch humans
for the first
time. five inches
in your brother's
leg. flash green.

v. the news

"even his mother
could not spell
his name,"
she mutters,
rolling her eyes.
you mess
your daughter's
hair. short moment
of laughter.

vi. the parisian summit

his son, they say,
and raise
their eyebrows,
sip water,
pass copies
of his letter
to a foreign
president. the
lady american
mutters something
about the republicans
loving this. the
africans peacekeep
on their own
continent; they
roll tanks
and order lunch.

vii. the road

in egypt,
they vote
on their next
coup. your
brother, back
from medical
school, teaches
the younger boys
how to roll
cigarettes
in the bed
of the truck.
you snort
and stop
at the gas station,
come out
with a pack
hitting your palm.
I buy quality,
you say, grinning;
your brother
scowls. you
tell the boys
to watch
his leg
and themselves.
you rumble
into tripoli, and
a few of you
return. the desert
blows around
your feet.

viii. ghibli

and you
will know us
by the wind
that dries
our blood
and carries
our names.

Libya, 2011 by ~soporous








22

A magnitude-6.3 earthquake rattles Christchurch, New Zealand, toppling buildings and claiming 181 lives.














March











A magnitude-9.0 earthquake rocks Japan, setting off a series of catastrophic events that claim the lives of more than 15,000 people.

11















23

Academy Award winning actress Elizabeth Taylor passes away at age 79.













April











5

The viral sensation "Nyan Cat"
is posted on YouTube,
eventually garnering more than 50 million views.












Powerful tornadoes devastate the Southern US, claiming over 300 lives and causing nearly $11 billion in damages.

27















17

The first episode of "Game of Thrones" airs, HBO's hit series based on "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin.












29

Prince William marries Kate Middleton in a televised spectacle broadcast around
the world.














May











Osama bin Laden is killed
by a team of highly skilled United States Navy SEALs during a raid on his compound.

2












An EF5 tornado nearly 1 mile wide stampedes through Joplin, Missouri, claiming 161 lives.

22















6

The season finale of the animated smash hit "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" airs on The Hub.












25

After 25 years on the air, the last episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" airs.














June











Actor Peter Falk, most well-known for his portrayal of "Columbo," passes away at 83.

23















24

New York becomes the largest state in the US to legalize same-sex marriage.















July











"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the final film in the acclaimed Harry Potter series, debuts in London.

7












The Space Shuttle Atlantis lands, ending NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.

21












Long-troubled singer Amy Winehouse passes away from alcohol poisoning at 27.

23















9

South Sudan declares its independence from Sudan.













22

A man in Oslo, Norway, detonates a car bomb then goes on a shooting spree at a nearby summer camp, claiming 77 lives.














August











Riots and looting break out in North London, lasting 4 days and eventually spreading to several London boroughs and other English cities.

6













September











The "Occupy Wall Street" protest begins, eventually sparking demonstrations around the world.

17















24

Nearly 20 years after becoming law, "Don't ask, don't tell" is repealed, allowing homosexual and bisexual citizens to openly serve in the US military.














October











Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and Pixar Animation Studios, passes away from cancer at the age of 56.

5















20

After over 34 years in power, Muammar Gaddafi is shot
and killed by members
of the Libyan National Liberation Army.













November











Police pepper-spray student protestors on the University of California, Davis campus sparking international dialogue about freedom of speech.

18













December











North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il passes away at the age of 69.

17















18

Nearly 9 years after it began, the Iraq War ends and remaining US troops
are withdrawn.











Aristotle once said that "the aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance, and this, and not the external manner and detail, is true reality." With over 190,000,000 works of art on deviantART, it's truly humbling to see art exemplify cross-sections of society and creatively embody the reality of experiences we all watched unfolding in front of us. As we look forward to a safe, healthy, and happy new year, we leave you with this question:

Do you think art imitates life or life imitates art?


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