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“We sowed”: Afghan artist painting for freedom | Human rights

Negina Azimi felt unprecedented shock and horror when she heard that Taliban fighters entered Kabul on August 15.As a candid female artist Afghanistan, She knew they would come for her.

“I heard reports that the Taliban might attack the house. I live in a very central neighborhood and I live in a very central neighborhood and all the rooms in the house are decorated with the kind of art that the Taliban does not approve. Was scary, “she said, featuring a message about women’s empowerment. Taliban atrocities..

Azimi hurried home from the studio where she worked, Art Lords, And carefully hid the painting where she wanted to be found, withdrawing all her work. “But much of our work is outside the walls of the city, and everyone knows us,” she says. Art Lords initiative to paint murals on thick concrete explosion-proof walls It covers most of the war-torn capital. “I heard the Taliban asked the shopkeeper about us and asked for our address. They wanted to punish us.”

Azimi was one of the many artists who embarked on an evacuation flight in the next few days and left many years of effort and effort to revive the Afghan art scene. After asylum in a refugee camp in Europe, they watched the Taliban erase murals one after another online. NS Hardliners were painting on many Art Lords images And replaced them with words, Hamwatan Azadet Mubarak – A message congratulating the “freedom” of the citizens.

“I can’t say how hurt I was when I saw it on social media. Taliban I painted a mural of a female orchestra in Afghanistan. It was the first work at Art Lords, “she says.

A picture of Art Lords.
A work by Art Lords.
Fatima Wojohat, 18 years old
Art Lords Gallery in Kabul, Afghanistan.

  • Above, the work of Art Lords. Top left, 18-year-old Fatima Wojohat who joined Art Lords four months ago.Upper right, Art Lords Gallery in Kabul

“Much of our art was a struggle for Afghan women for justice and freedom of speech for about 20 years. We are Afghanistan to inspire the next generation that Tullivan has erased. “I chose to paint the hero of the world,” says another Afghan artist in exile who wants to be identified only as Muhazil (meaning Dali refugee).

“I was forced to leave behind everything I built and created. Wherever I go now, this will always be my identity: I always Muhajir“He says.

Afghan artist paints a mural on the wall

Shamsia Hasani A graffiti artist and professor of art in Afghanistan at Kabul University, he was able to escape the Taliban. She says. “My country and my art gave me an identity. The day Kabul fell, I couldn’t believe it. My heart was on fire.”

Hasani, like many Afghans of his generation, grew up as a refugee in Iran due to decades of war and returned to Kabul after the 2001 Taliban collapse. The number of artists and art lovers was gradually increasing. Of course, there were still a lot of people who opposed art, but everyone had the freedom to be an artist, “she says. “We sowed the seeds and watched them grow.”

The first image drawn by Shamsia Hasani after the fall of Kabul.
A work by Shamsia Hasani.

Hasani’s unique graffiti style, featuring a young woman with her eyes closed, has emerged on many walls of the Afghan capital, a symbol of social change, empowerment and peace. Many of her works have also been erased.

“All the plants I grew with years of effort and hope were destroyed,” she says.

“I used to believe that art was stronger than war, but now war is more powerful, and anything built over more than 20 years can be destroyed by its darkness within minutes. I noticed, “she says. “The reason I’m still painting here is to keep myself floating and not sinking in this darkness.”

Graffiti artist Shamsia Hassani

Lida Afghan is an Afghan and Dutch artist who has worked extensively in Afghanistan, but is currently unable to return. “When I think of Afghanistan, I’m very overwhelmed, and lately I find myself crying a lot. The only comfort I get is to paint. It’s not you alone It’s also my way of telling women in the country, “she says.

Afghan woman, Dutch Afghan artist Lida Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s recent work, which depicts a female rebellion in her former home, has often been talked about on social media. “When I draw women, I try to show how powerful women are, because women in Afghanistan are victims and are often considered weak. I Have seen women from all over Afghanistan, and they are constantly fighting patriarchy, “she says.

“Art is a movement. It’s a universal language that can speak to people’s souls. And with it, I want to tell Afghan women not to give up. My hope is When they see such works, they feel empowered, “she says.

Artists who have fled Afghanistan remain unwavering in refugee camps, creating new works. The ArtLords Collective continues to create new works in exile and hopes to soon hold an exhibition of the works of exiled artists.

“The Taliban can whiten all the work in Kabul, but we always have paint and brushes, and we fight back with it,” says Muhajir.

Shamsia Hassani from the Dreaming Graffiti series

  • A fictitious graffiti of Shamsia Hasani on the cliffs of Bamiyan, where the Taliban destroyed a huge Buddha statue from the 5th century in 2001. This photo is part of her Dreaming Graffiti series, magnifying and then painting the photo of where you want to put the graffiti.Photo murals of places she can only dream of

“We sowed”: Afghan artist painting for freedom | Human rights

Source link “We sowed”: Afghan artist painting for freedom | Human rights

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