As a war continues to ravage Yemen, mainstream media focuses mostly on the political leaders, and often neglects the majority of the people or the looming catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Information is provided about the war without a human context. Victims are introduced as numbers without souls. It is as if the people don’t exist, as if their lives don’t matter. They are deemed irrelevant in the discussion of the war that affects them the most!
What is also missing from the media discourse is the focus on survival mechanisms and the resilience of the people. Yemen has always possessed exceptional social survival skills. There is a side in Yemen that is focused on winning battles, but there is a side that is focused on winning life. In the midst of the undeniable misery that the war – both internal and external – has caused, we see the thirst for life. We see the strength of the people.
Despite the lack of electricity, gas, food shortages, bombings, and street battles, they try to continue their daily routines as much as possible. They find creative ways to gather water and live without electricity. In the midst of war, comedy has also thrived, from daily jokes on WhatsApp, to satirical songs, videos and Facebook groups.
This post is not meant to undermine the dire humanitarian situation that is looming and destroying the lives of millions across the country especially those outside major cities, but rather it’s an attempt to shed light on another aspect of the war. The photos above are eleven examples illustrating life itself as resistance.
“To rich people it must seem that the ordinary little people — perhaps because their lives are more rarefied, deprived of the oxygen of money and savoir-faire — experience human emotions with less intensity and greatest indifference….. it was given that death, for us, must be a matter of course, whereas for our privileged neighbors it carried all the weight of injustice and drama.“– Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.