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Besides Opposition, Kabul Girl Makes Bold Strides Towards Graffiti Art

  • JWB Post
  •  December 30, 2016


When affinity with graffiti touched the heart of Shamia Hassani, 22-year-old from Kabul, Afghanistan made empty walls her canvas.

Although her parents are supportive of her passion for graffiti, they remain worried too. As in Afghanistan, freely expressing a woman’s view might result in harassment and abuse.

Shamia, however, was committed to her passion. “It’s all about women,” she explained to The Huffington Post. “It’s about trying to stay strong in a society that is not good to women.”

Most of the time, her subjects are playing instruments, daydreaming or wandering through the streets. And sometimes skyscrapers blend into the women’s hijab. Defining a strange relation between reality and fantasy.

“They are characters relaying different messages and different ideas,” Hassani said. Her recent series, “Chameleon,” focuses on all the varying personalities that coexist within her own consciousness. “When I change my environment, I also change myself,” she explained.

But this fierce girl’s work did not remain unnoticed by the misogynists. Ever since she started to spray the paint, she has faced a lot of hostility against her. “A lot of closed-minded people try to stop my work,” she said. “They use a lot of bad words.”

Some even believe her work to be wrong on the grounds of Islam. Others believe that women should, as Hassani described, “stay at home.”

Hassani’s exhibition “Prestige” will be on view until January 1, 2017, at Seyhoun Gallery in Los Angeles, and from Jan. 10 to January 16, 2017, at Elga Wimmer Gallery in New York.

Here are few of her works that rejoiced our eyes.

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