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December 3, 2021
International Life

Woman Uses Street Art to Campaign on Women’s Rights in Afghanistan


Shamsia Hassani is a 28 year old street and digital artist from Afghanistan and is said to be the first female street artist in Afghanistan.

Born in 1988 to Afghan parents, Shamsia is a teacher and faculty member of the Fine Arts Department at Kabul University.

Growing up in a society that is exposed to war and violence, life is very challenging growing up as woman especially in a society that sees women belonging to homes only.

While these has been the traditional gender norm and believe in the country, for Shmasia, she believed women were more than just belonging to the homes and has dreamt of changing these view about women in the society.

After studies from Kabul University and a graffiti workshop in 2010, her inspiration was boosted and she knew this was the right time to introduce to the people about street art.

Shamsia began her campaign using digital and street art portraying messages about women rights.

In her campaign, Shamsia has changed her artwork, painting larger women images that could be seen properly, and has attracted many people from different walks of life.

Each viewer had its own interpretation of the art work. Although this has seen positive results, Shamsia feared closed minded people as well as her security as this art work was to be delivered outdoor and not indoor. 

With each challenge seen, Shamsia has improved and advanced her art work by painting large women images for better viewing by viewers in the streets.

Shamsia hopes this career and her inspiration through grafiti messages will help bring better pictures of women in her society and empower more women while do away with the traditional believe and understanding of women just belonging to the homes.

One of the common believe that many say is the barrier to poor female participation and denying of female rights, the burqa (an enveloping outer garment worn by women that covers their bodies in the public), but Shamia believes burqa is not the answer or even the cause of female issues encountered in the country.

 

Through this, Shamsia believes and hopes her artwork will one day, change the whole traditional believe of women in the society and bring new images of women to the society.

Another objective of her work is to bring good stories about her country, and make the country famous not for its wars but of its art work and to create peace and harmony in the communities via her art work.

Shamsia is now a motivation to the society and advocates more on women rights in Afghanistan.

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