It has been over three months since the Taliban officially took over Afghanistan. What followed then were the visuals of civilians trying to flee the country, mass hysteria, and a humanitarian crisis. One section of the population particularly affected by it was the women.

Within the first few weeks of the Taliban takeover, it became abundantly clear that it was far from a women-supporting organization. The policies that they rolled out were reflective of that. Girls’ schools were shut down. Women’s rights activists feared for their lives when the Taliban started detaining and beating them.

Women, already objectified in many parts of the world including our country, became a means for trade. People were forced to use women in their households to settle payments. In one instance, a businessman was asked to repay the Taliban by handing over his 5 sisters to them.

If You Don’t Have Money, You Have Sisters

Being confined in the four walls of their house with a constant threat looming over their heads, many women grappled with depression and suicidal thoughts. Their own homes started to feel like a prison to them.

Women have been facing these and many other plights every day for months as the World Organizations continue to turn a blind eye to the grim situation.

But there was one woman who took charge in these trying times and painted many walls in Afghanistan to show the condition of a woman there. Meet Afghanistan’s first woman street artist Shamsia Hassani.

Afghanistan’s First Woman Street Artist – Shamsia Hassani

Shamsia’s work started to gain popularity in early the 2010s. A women’s rights advocate, she has traveled to many countries over the years for women’s causes. She was one of the Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2014.

She gained even more fame when she painted murals depicting women’s plights when the Taliban took over the country.

afghanistan's woman street artist
The girl in blue holding a piano is a depiction of hope in the times when the country is ruled by the Taliban
shamsia hassani
Death to Darkness: Shamsia’s painting after the control of Kabul by the Taliban

Read More: The Emerging Street Art In India: Crime, Grime And Sublime

Following the explosion at Kabul airport
“The Window Of Our House”: When she left the country

She drew this when she lost her friends in an attack in the West Kabul

Her work has the capacity to make me feel sorry for every innocent woman in Afghanistan even when I am hundreds of kilometers away from there. No wonder why she is the role model for a lot of young girls there.

Sources: LA Times, Bloomberg, News18

Image Sources: Instagram, Google Images

Find The Blogger: @TinaGarg18

This post is tagged under: afghanistan woman street artist, shamsia hassani, taliban, kabul, afghanistan, art, art as a medium of expression, street art, grafitti artist, graffiti, taliban policies, girls school closed, education for girls, women activists, women rights, forcefully marrying, objectifying women, plights of an Afghani woman, suicidal thoughts, depressive episodes

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