Many Afghans are unsure of how the Taliban’s rule will affect their lives and safety after their country being taken over them.
Even if it can be tough for people like us to make sense of it and truly grasp what these people are going through. Our only option is to ask someone who can help clearing up these doubts.
An Afghan street artist who has lectured at Kabul’s university is Shamsia Hassani. She is considered as the first female Afghan street artist. In addition to portraying the status of women in a male-dominated society, Hassani’s works offer a glimpse into the war between light and darkness that has subjugated the country she calls home.
She is the Afghanistan’s first female street artist and has lectured at Kabul University.
Her interest in street art was sparked in 2010 after she attended a graffiti workshop held by British artist CHU
As a result, Hassani has established her own style and painted her distinctive image — a woman with her eyes closed and no lips — all throughout the country.
Shamsia Hassani was born in Iran in 1988 to parents who were from Afghanistan. Even from the beginning of her life, she’s had challenges. When I was born, I was an Afghan because Iran does not have any laws that allow you to become an Iranian citizen “, we were told by the artist. Afghans were not allowed to work in Iran because of their nationality, which I still remember. The government told my parents that they couldn’t get a job without the authorization of the government, therefore my parents had a lot of trouble. But I was a child and didn’t really grasp the situation.”
Shamsia’s life eventually led her back to Afghanistan, where she was born. While in Kabul she attended a Graffiti Course by Combat Communications. That workshop set her on a road that she still continues ten years later! Nine colleagues from Berang and I attended the workshop. ” The event was organized by Combat Communications and led by graffiti artist CHU.”
According to Shamsia, “CHU’s lectures covered both theoretical and practical practice as well as presentations by artists from throughout the world.” For the first time, we learned how to do graffiti. With time, we learned about spray techniques and how to paint huge scale drawings on walls.”
The rest who attended the work shop with Shamsia didn’t continue to improve on their graffiti talents or even study the art form, later. Shamsia, on the other hand, was smitten. As a result, she found the output to be quite useful. A war-torn city’s walls may be transformed into vibrant works of art with graffiti, Shamsia believed, that this new form would cover up the dark side caused due to war and that her people would witness positivity rather than guns and bullets all over. She also thought it may be a means for individuals who had never been to an exhibition or seen her work to experience her art.
According to Shamsia, despite the ongoing conflict and other political and social concerns, the situation for women really improved following the fall of the Taliban in 2001 – they gradually entered society and were given the opportunity to educate and grow as a result. Since then, many women have made significant strides in numerous professions, such as education and the trades; culture and medical; and so on.” Slow yet promising progress was made.”
Doch adversity has struck yet again. I can’t believe I’m saying this but many women are fleeing the country because they don’t believe they have a bright future.” “All these years of hard work were in vain.”
To Hassani’s relief, she is safe, but she had to leave her homeland.
There is a reoccurring character in many of my works,” she says. Everybody has a role, even movie characters. As a human being, she’s the most important thing to me. However, as a woman, I can relate to her better because women face more restrictions in our society than men. In some cases, a damaged musical instrument gives her the ability to speak and play even though she has no eyes or mouth. There’s nothing good to see in her closed eyes, and that’s a good thing. According to the artist, her work is primarily focused on individuals and social issues, but it can also be political at times.
Some of my paintings feature a character who is a combatant while others depict someone who has no future. She can be a peace-seeker at times and plays a blank role at others. And like her, she’s trapped in her own fantasies as well as in her own agony and suffering. She’s a patriot who loves her country and battles hopelessness.”