The musical part of Zakir’s work is an instrumental rendition of the traditional Afghan folk song Sar Zameen e Man, which he performs on the rubab.
The song’s original lyrics allude to the pain of losing your home country, becoming a refugee, and witnessing the destruction of one’s beloved homeland.
It voices helplessness and sadness of these things happening beyond their control.
Zakir was moved to create this work when he saw current footage of the destruction of musical instruments and dismantling of women’s right to education and basic freedoms by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
He wanted to show what is happening in his home country in his own way by combining his love for music and interest in digital art.
Content Warning: Image contains gun violence.
“I’m excited to be part of the Duniya Behter project. I think it’s a good opportunity to show what we have been doing through lockdown and how we felt during these hard times. It has also been good to meet new people from different backgrounds and cultures to collaborate with them and share our ideas together.”
Sar Zameen E Man by Zakir Hussain is presented as a part of Duniya Behter.
Duniya Behter is supported by the Victorian Government through the Priority Response to Multicultural Communities during Coronavirus (PRMC) program.
From 11 Aug 2021
Duniya Behter shifts the mainstream narrative about people with migrant and refugee backgrounds, from vulnerable to capable. Women and young people in Bendigo and Shepparton drew from their cultural roots, to build creative businesses and produce new digital creative works. The name, Duniya Behter, emerged from conversations with young Cultural Facilitators employed to work on this project and it speaks to the spirit and intention of MAV’s regional Victoria program. It is a reflection of some of the cultures in Bendigo and Shepparton where the project is based. Duniya means the world in Arabic, Hindi and it’s also found in the languages of Swahili, Hazaragi, Urdu and Persian, where it holds a similar meaning. Behter means better but working together to make better.