Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ommulbanin Shamsia Hassani: Street art and the female form

Ommulbanin Shamsia Hassani is an emerging street artist whose paintings conceptualize women wearing the burqa in Afghanistan. When talking about the subject of her wall murals in Kabul, Hassani says: “I always do women in burqas for my graffiti but I do it in a modern way. I want to take them out of their old clich├ęd form. I mean their shape is very different...their shoulders, their bodies. When I work I recreate the female form.” Since 2010, she has painted her images and accompanying poetry on wall murals in Kabul. 

Through public art, Hassani takes on the role of activist and educator who encourages audiences to think critically about social injustice in the community. Her wall murals deliberately comment on women’s restricted participation in public spaces in Afghanistan and encourage audiences to think critically about freedom of expression, power struggles in society, and restrictions that prohibit all people from participating in community dialogue. 

The following video of Hassani was featured on the website Kabul - A City at Work, a multi-media project that presents positive views of the vibrant economic life in Afghanistan through portraits, interviews, and videos of people in Kabul. Check out the video, Who is the Graffiti Artist? here.

1 comment:

  1. This is just awesome. If there's one place that could really use a touch of urban art (and art in general, really), it's the middle east.