Pablo Picasso’s Politically Charged Guernica Painting


On April 26, 1937, Guernica, Spain was severely bombed due to civil conflict brought on by World War II. The Basque town of Guernica was openly hostile towards General Francisco Franco’s ideologies, and because of this, Franco unleashed a 3.5 hour bombing raid upon this defenseless city, with help from German allies. In total, 1650 people were killed, 900 injured, and most of the township was destroyed, an event which sparked international outrage. Pablo Picasso created a piece of artwork as sentiment towards anti-war and anti-violence entitled “Guernica”. Picasso understood that artwork and politics rarely go together hand in hand and so he created not a piece of aircraft and bombs but rather of horses and swords, as he was determined not to create artwork which could be used as propaganda in the future. The bull depicted within the painting is designed to represent Franco and his military powers and the suffering horses and weeping woman symbolize the people of Spain. Picasso’s Guernica work became a timeless masterpiece and a copy of it is on display at the United Nations world headquarters in New York City, United States of America. The Guernica painting was covered briefly with a veil during 2003 when U.S. General Colin Powell announced the United States’ decision to invade Iraq. The Guernica image was seen as incendiary commentary and therefore intolerable during this chaotic period. The Guernica painting has become a symbol of protest to violence, war, and military regimes, not just for every country in the world, but of the 20th century and beyond

Preventable Death


The World Health Organization has declared that over 60% of deaths worldwide are caused by non-communicable, preventable disease. These diseases include asthma, diabetes, celiac disease, obesity, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and select mental disorders. These specific illnesses have continued to rise on an upward trajectory throughout the 21st century with no current sign of leveling off. The World Health Organization estimates that these particular disease processes will increase by a rate of 17% within the next decade and that the cost of treatment has the potential ability to bankrupt the entire global healthcare system by the year 2030, a cost which could topple over $47,000,000,000,000 ($47 trillion). To provide frame of reference, most countries have a total output of less than $1,000,000,000,000 ($1 trillion) per year, a measurement which includes every citizen, business, and system designed to stimulate trade and generate income. The main causative factors for the above mentioned diseases are smoking, consumption of alcohol, adherence to a poor diet, and lack of exercise

The Forced Exploitation of Afghani Farmers By the Taliban 


Not only does the Taliban force Afghani farmers into growing poppies for opium production by methods of intimidation and the threat of violence and/or death to the farmers and their families, they also incentivize these people by paying large loans in cash beforehand which is attractive to poor Afghan farmers who see the money as a quicker and more reliable method rather than farming the land to feed their family. This system is intentionally designed to ensure the farmers are monetarily indebted to the person providing the loan so that they must produce and yield a certain amount of crop in order to pay that debt back. Some opium farmers end up selling their daughters in an exchange to become debt free, having daughters as young as 12 marry drug lords who often acquire 4 or 5 wives because they have the income to do so. Over 1,000,000 (1 million) people in Afghanistan are addicted to heroin making the problem both localized as well as internationalized abroad. 90% of the world’s heroin production comes from Afghanistan. The Quran actually stipulates that it is against Islamic law to both grow as well as consume opium. While other crops take 3 – 5 years to reach their full potential in terms of yield each year, poppy crops are immediately fruitful after their first year