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2011 As Seen Through Art

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 8:13 PM

When a major world event occurs, human beings naturally gravitate together, express feelings, and share memories. And while news websites have a responsibility to present stories as a matter of fact, deviantART has the unique ability to showcase emotions and humanity through art.


2011 was full of emotional events the world around, and our community responded at unprecedented levels. From natural disasters to historical celebrations, entertainment milestones to tearful goodbyes, our community spoke out like no other community can — artistically, creatively, and emotionally. In many ways, last year marked the final chapter of a few eras, opening the door to new beginnings for 2012. Let's take a look...


The Arab Spring movement continues with Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ousted from Tunisia.



Egypt's revolution begins.


AOL Inc. announces
its acquisition of
The Huffington Post.


Nintendo's successful game franchise "The Legend of Zelda" celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first game's release.



Libya's "Day of Rage" protest is held, kicking off what will eventually become a successful full-scale rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi.

Libya, 2011

i. cartography

fly east, a
21st century
trade, where
the desert
blows. the sahara
kicks sandstorms,
brief, wavering
oases, gashes
into the skin
of your people.

brega falls.
the westerners
arrive in time
for benghazi,
and your land
bends subject
to sanded annals
of hindsight
battle jargon.
routed. ras anuf, lost.
two killed, five wounded,
one missing.

ii. ajdabiya

a boy
viva la libye
under the overpass.
you crunch
over bottles
and brown grass,
wait. he turns,
the rebel flag
tied around
his head:
red, black,
true green.
grab a gun,
you say.
a fighter plane
roars overhead.
his eyes
are dark
and young.
grab a gun,
or go home.

he fancies himself
a revolutionary;
you fancy him
stupid. and thank
, you think,
as he hesitates
before flipping
over the fence,
he is afraid.

iii. the government channel

everything is okay.
flash green.
fine, okay,
in its place. the
newscaster's eyes
run black. flash
green. flash green.

iv. great socialist people's libyan arab jamahiriya

he would
have you
as terrorists
in your own
country. his
spokesman, mid-speech,
pauses. he sweats.

they say
these bullets
touch humans
for the first
time. five inches
in your brother's
leg. flash green.

v. the news

"even his mother
could not spell
his name,"
she mutters,
rolling her eyes.
you mess
your daughter's
hair. short moment
of laughter.

vi. the parisian summit

his son, they say,
and raise
their eyebrows,
sip water,
pass copies
of his letter
to a foreign
president. the
lady american
mutters something
about the republicans
loving this. the
africans peacekeep
on their own
continent; they
roll tanks
and order lunch.

vii. the road

in egypt,
they vote
on their next
coup. your
brother, back
from medical
school, teaches
the younger boys
how to roll
in the bed
of the truck.
you snort
and stop
at the gas station,
come out
with a pack
hitting your palm.
I buy quality,
you say, grinning;
your brother
scowls. you
tell the boys
to watch
his leg
and themselves.
you rumble
into tripoli, and
a few of you
return. the desert
blows around
your feet.

viii. ghibli

and you
will know us
by the wind
that dries
our blood
and carries
our names.

Libya, 2011 by ~soporous


A magnitude-6.3 earthquake rattles Christchurch, New Zealand, toppling buildings and claiming 181 lives.


A magnitude-9.0 earthquake rocks Japan, setting off a series of catastrophic events that claim the lives of more than 15,000 people.



Academy Award winning actress Elizabeth Taylor passes away at age 79.



The viral sensation "Nyan Cat"
is posted on YouTube,
eventually garnering more than 50 million views.

Powerful tornadoes devastate the Southern US, claiming over 300 lives and causing nearly $11 billion in damages.



The first episode of "Game of Thrones" airs, HBO's hit series based on "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin.


Prince William marries Kate Middleton in a televised spectacle broadcast around
the world.


Osama bin Laden is killed
by a team of highly skilled United States Navy SEALs during a raid on his compound.


An EF5 tornado nearly 1 mile wide stampedes through Joplin, Missouri, claiming 161 lives.



The season finale of the animated smash hit "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" airs on The Hub.


After 25 years on the air, the last episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" airs.


Actor Peter Falk, most well-known for his portrayal of "Columbo," passes away at 83.



New York becomes the largest state in the US to legalize same-sex marriage.


"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the final film in the acclaimed Harry Potter series, debuts in London.


The Space Shuttle Atlantis lands, ending NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.


Long-troubled singer Amy Winehouse passes away from alcohol poisoning at 27.



South Sudan declares its independence from Sudan.


A man in Oslo, Norway, detonates a car bomb then goes on a shooting spree at a nearby summer camp, claiming 77 lives.


Riots and looting break out in North London, lasting 4 days and eventually spreading to several London boroughs and other English cities.



The "Occupy Wall Street" protest begins, eventually sparking demonstrations around the world.



Nearly 20 years after becoming law, "Don't ask, don't tell" is repealed, allowing homosexual and bisexual citizens to openly serve in the US military.


Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and Pixar Animation Studios, passes away from cancer at the age of 56.



After over 34 years in power, Muammar Gaddafi is shot
and killed by members
of the Libyan National Liberation Army.


Police pepper-spray student protestors on the University of California, Davis campus sparking international dialogue about freedom of speech.



North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il passes away at the age of 69.



Nearly 9 years after it began, the Iraq War ends and remaining US troops
are withdrawn.

2011 was full of emotional events the world around, and our community responded at unprecedented levels. From natural disasters to historical celebrations, entertainment milestones to tearful goodbyes, our community spoke out like no other community can — artistically, creatively, and emotionally. In many ways, last year marked the final chapter of a few eras, opening the door to new beginnings for 2012. Let's take a look...

Add a Comment:
JVMN Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
Shame on this spam. Awesome piece! Was good when I bookmarked it, still good now, I'll be back =D
metalStone Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
I finally made a life changing decision this was the perfect solution now I feel whole again just trying to look out for you
seyyah61 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
I had tried everything I was able to regain my independence using this I was able to fill a void in my life you are perfect for this
sa3aad Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
I had reached the end of the line I took my chances with this now I make all the calls just picture the possibilities
looksharp Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
How to Use Portion Control to Lose Pounds
rebelane Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist Interface Designer
This work is incredible, what a visualization of the year.[link]

I am :awstruck: :mesmerized: :speechless: :stunned: incredible art.
Shadowkey392 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012
I would have to say that life and art imitate each other.
deideiblueeyez Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love photos of years past. The times and events I wasn't alive to see especially. These photos, I won't truly appreciate them since I've actually "been there, done that" but may a few decades from now I'll look back to see the cultural significance they had upon the world. I wish there were more photos, but of course anyone who takes something momentous and accurately portrays or depicts it in a medium other than photography should be given props, too :3
Kiss-And-Never-Tell Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012  Hobbyist
I love each piece of art! I love how each piece of art pinpoints each event that happened in the year 2011 :) Splendid!
Dartiv Featured By Owner May 16, 2012
wow, it was eventfuls year, thanks to DevianART for an opportunity to see it all in a different way, amazing!
Sammy1997 Featured By Owner May 15, 2012
Both are equally represented in society.
Courts96 Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Student General Artist
Art imitates life and life imitates art, it just depends on the circumstances (:
fan4battle Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012
I liked seeing a timeline with world-significant events described with art. I'd be happy to see more like this, or more detailed timelines.
FluffySharkk Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Student General Artist
I've always said life imitates art even though others say art imitates life.
Life is so full of colour and drama, just like art and to me, with all the different events, people, places and colours in the world, life seems more like art that way!
GameboyDBQ Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012  Student General Artist
Zelda, Harry Potter, Nyan Cat, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Gay Rights. All the things I respect came together last year.
Zephyrie Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012  Hobbyist Interface Designer
i just checking my email and find this, viva deviantart, the art flows between deviantart's magical artist
aramide Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012
awesome year for all devaints
MercanteDMuerte Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Art, being as free as it is, CAN imitate life, but then again, life largely IS art. Life is what we live, but art is why we live.
creativemikey Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
I :love:the feature and I equally:love the use of my tag line here as well:clap:
vertigo911 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
I guess you ask which is the greatest, art or life, but you cant really seperate them, so the question makes no sence, which also is the point, i guess :) But creative art is symbolism, not imitation. But symbols determine life, so i guess they are very much equal :)
Qukoqzd Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
TheBumAndTheScarlets Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Rest in peace Peter Falk and Steve Jobs and Liz Taylor!
bittenvampiregirl Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs :pray: :tombstone:
sweetbloody111 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Hobbyist
life imitates art

deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
pita-ten-rockz123 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012
My favourite is the Harry Potter one. :D Always.
sijodevil Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Hobbyist Interface Designer
awsome work...
vikmak Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
exceptional work.....
seapossim Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
that was felt
witchiamwill Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Art does not imitate life, nor does life imitate it. Events will happen through time and people will be there to not capture them but share them in there own way. Art is a creative zone that doesn't mimic what occurs through time as copied by the human population but rather it exists along with it. They are two halves of one whole; the tangible with the intangible. Through out history countless events have probably captured by the human eye as seen by them. Many are lost to us today. DA is a safe house of works both big and small. I just hope many generations down the line others can enjoy these works and learn from them in whatever way it may be.

amaynard1981 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
Wow, Mute9, That statemement you put underneath your words of encouragement is really strong, because you're basically saying you were there when the last of the Time Lords were around. I really don't understand the second sentence, but the third makes perfect sense.
Benjiraptor Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
So much sadness... beautiful piece of work.
Zackarte Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing ! :)
DjBronyftw Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
yay ponies :3
KosmicKid Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Student Photographer

^that's how epic this is. Mmm hmm. Ninjahs.
RainbowDash93 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012
oh goody a mention of the brony interwebs-sub culture:trollface:
VintagePeon Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
KetJS Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
perfectly done. Excellent.
tt2011 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
very good
Nanda29 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012
The artists have tried to underline the importance of the events which took place in 2011 but the accuracy of their work reveals both sides of the reality: the beauty and the horror; so they make us wonder: this is the world where we want to live? Can't we do something to change it ?
MayteBR Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012
Amazing graphical summary of a year that is gone. So much talent in a sequence of images. Se eriza la piel con verlo.
libran005 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome collection of artworks... definitely takes us thru the happenings of 2011
TiagoTavares Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
100% american bulshit!
amirbahr Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012
very nice
art is butifull
life isnot without art nothing
iEmbellish Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Amazing work and perfect compilation of the year. Such talent and commitment to their work, artists here, are some of the fiercest and most creative anywhere. I am proud to be a member of this community. Carry on y'all!
Add a Comment:

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