Apr 09 2012

Afghanistan’s female banksy

Have you seen the graffiti work of 24 year old Shamsia Hassani, an associate professor of Sculpture at Kabul University in Afghanistan and a founding member of a contemporary art collective, Roshd (which means development/growth)?

Things of beauty…

A lot of her work features women in burqas, but with a modern silhouette, with hips and sharp shoulders or fish, trapped. The second piece is captioned: “The water can come back to a dried-up river, but what about the fish that died?”.  She says:

Art can bring change, I am sure. If people see an artwork, it will perhaps only cause a small shock to their mind, but that can grow and grow.

The last piece is by a male colleague.


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  1. 1

    What an iconic image that is of Shamsia with her spray cans, below her marvellous graffito. In Maryam’s link to ‘The Guardian’ article, Shamsia’s words are: “The water can come back to a dried-up river, but what about the fish that died?”. A beautiful expression … let us hope that water will indeed return to her benighted land & let us remember all of those fish who died.

    1. 1.1
      Maryam Namazie

      Yes thanks for this. I added it to the blog as it is the saying in the second photo.

  2. 2
    Hassan Radwan

    Bless her! (For want of a better expression.)

    1. 2.1
      Maryam Namazie

      Hassan can you pls post the entry on Alex and Hamza on the CEMB forum? thanks

  3. 3

    Art and expression. You gotta love it!

    Whether it’s handprints in neolithic caves or graffiti on ancient monuments or women like Shamsia Hassan; the human being has always felt a strong need to say; ‘Look, I have been here too. This is what I have seen, this is what I have experienced also’.

    And this again proves something I often argue; Despite all the shit that has been thrown at us to divide, whether it be religion, nationality, politics, etc; We are still here, still communicating and still expressing ourselves and reaching out to others.

    Now, if only we could send the individuals at Roshd a message. Their artwork has been seen and the messages they contain appreciated.

    Excellent. Thanks Maryam.

  4. 4

    There’s an interview wuth her on this blog:

    1. 4.1

      Hey, thanks for this Allenc.

  5. 5
    Robert George

    Afghan women, who have been suppressed by the Taliban and religion, need genuine support from people around the world. I have been a big supporter of liberation of women in Muslim countries, especially in Afghanistan. But I do not support any moral decadence of the kind seen in the Western countries. These women deserve an education and a decent life. It’s time they are freed from the crimes perpetrated upon them by men.

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