Shamsia Hassani street artist
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September 20, 2021
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Shamsia Hassani Is Fighting The Patriarchy One Graffiti At A Time

Shamsia Hassani is Afghanistan’s first female street artist and she is extremely talented!

She makes vibrant murals and paintings, depicting women as strong, independent figures. Her art has changed the usual depiction of Afghan women, discarding the Western paternalist gaze who portrays them as the passive victims of violent eastern men - a trope oh so sadly overused in Western narratives. Shamsia empowers women in a male dominated society and paints them as human beings who are proud, loud, and can bring positive changes in people’s lives.⁠

Shamsia has motivated hundreds of Afghans to bring out their creativity through her graffiti festival, art classes and exhibitions all around the world. It was a very important step after decades of Taliban rule, who notoriously blocked out all forms of public art, and forced women to stay indoors.⁠

Now, as art and women are threatened once again, Shamsia is still painting, but with a broken heart. ⁠She recently spoke up on how some of her paintings in Kabul have been erased by the Talibans:

‘In the recent years I was complaining that people destroy/remove my graffitis. I was thinking that time is needed for people to get educated and then they will have a better understanding of Art. I never imagined that our world will suddenly fall and we will never get to the day that I was waiting for.’

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