Aura, 2020-2023
Aura, 2020-2023 
Hoda Afshar ‘Aura’

14/10/2023 - 16/11/2023

Milani Gallery 

Early January, 2020. A suffocating smoke has enveloped the city. The sky is burnt black and orange. The sun is barely visible. You can barely breathe, even here in the city. Bushfires are burning across eastern Australia, and images of bright red waves devouring everything play on every television. The pictures merge with the blurred image of the burning wreckage of a car carrying an assassinated Iranian army general, killed by a US airstrike in Iraq. We wait for Iran to retaliate. State television broadcasts images of missiles striking a US airbase. We wait. Images emerge of the burning wreckage of a passenger plane, shot down by mistake. Images of protestors filling the streets. Of burning flags and teargas. A virus is now spreading across the globe like those unstoppable fires in Australia. Iran is defenseless. Countless dead already. More images. Of makeshift graves and white shrouded bodies. Of doctors collapsed on packed hospital floors. Of ghost-like figures giving orders. Separated by cold-blue cloth and see-through screens. Our only means of connection. Unable to touch each other. Unable to breathe. Unable to breathe. The image of an innocent man pleading to police sparks protests across America. Police are sent in rows to smother them. Smoke. Fire. Destruction. A factory catches fire in Lebanon. The explosion sends red smoke spiralling towards heaven. The shock is felt in Palestine. In Palestine. Where fire has again descended from the sky. And where a mother, arms outreached to heaven, pleads. When will this end.