My name is Carmanie Bhatti. My given middle name is Olive. I like to work on social justice projects and help people look at life with an understanding that is necessary for their growth. I have always admired beauty, talent, art, skill, and my very famous quote that I add is “wherever I see a combination of these, I do not hold myself back!” Yes, that is true. I find beauty in everything, because there is so much beauty in us and the nature around us. But, besides beauty, where there is question of finding beauty in death and suffering. I have tried to address that through my poetry, photography, and paintings. My understanding about social justice is relative to expression through different means, whether it be arts, or the use of our hands, bodies, souls, minds and strength. In order for us to address the topic of social justice, we need to make sure how are we addressing, and to whom? Words matter a lot, and can be a source of healing or metaphorically speaking, terrible injury to our neighbors.
When I worked on my first social justice project in IL, I discovered that I am named after a fruit, but an evergreen fruit and an evergreen tree. I resonate myself with the image of an Olive, while my first name also means an evergreen fruit and tree, respectively. I made use of this analogy, and answered questions about oppression and vulnerability.
Life is full of challenges, but my whole journey is about loving my neighbors with zeal, and compassionate heart, and helping them receive insight into issues of social justice so that together, we learn to live in harmony and brotherhood.
As a poet, I am used to speaking in metaphors, as a photographer through striking pictures that touch hearts and sink in memory, and as a true lover of art, through images in paintings. Through this very poem, I have shared my journey and understanding of life, its challenges, sufferings, and new life, but will leave it for the readers to absorb themselves into its message.
Hope you enjoy reading my poem and seeing my painting, which is an illustration of this poem.