Females with Power and Ambition: The Work of Afghan Graffiti Artist Shamsia Hassani

A lecturer at Kabul University, Afghan graffiti artist Shamsia Hassani is known internationally for her murals depicting the identity of females in a male-dominated society. Her aim is to project women with a face of power and ambitions, with a willingness to achieve goals. Shamsia was born in 1988 in Tehran where her parents had temporarily migrated from their native Kandahar during the time of the Soviet-Afghan War. She showed an interest in painting from a young age.

Upon her return to Afghanistan in 2005, she pursued a degree in art at Kabul University and learned graffiti in a workshop in Kabul in December 2010 hosted by Chu, a graffiti artist from the United Kingdom. She later established a contemporary art collective called “Rosht”.

Shamsia at Work

Shamsia’s art, whether on walls or rocks, is characterised by bright colours and a use of musical instruments. The vividness is an attempt to help counter and cover the reminders of devastation and conflict. The pianos and violins that are carried by female figures indicate the possibility of talents, and voices, messages waiting to be told and heard. The artist’s own message is that everyone doesn’t have to be an artist to bring change, but everyone can make an effort to have a positive impact on society, and that is what they should do.

Shamsia Hassani has recently exhibited her works at the Seyhoun Gallery of Los Angeles, the Elga Wimmer Gallery of New York and has worked on walls in places like Germany and Norway. She was artist-in-residence at Hammer Museum, UCLA in 2016.


One of Shamsia Hassani’s murals in Afghanistan


Links: Website (www.shamsiahassani.com) | | Instagram (www.instagram.com/shamsiahassan) | Facebook (www.facebook.com/Shamsia-Hassani-252100761577381) | Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamsia_Hassani) | YouTube (www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ4A1QA9fjxGdUk3Zzmvmew)  

Images used with permission.





















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