Afghanistan art has been mostly dominated by men artists and realism. However, times are slowly changing. Kabul University has recently had an exhibition with pollution and environment themes. What makes it so amazing is that all 18 artists were women with a modern art theme.
The Afghan public has been skeptical about an art eduction and lack of prosperity in the profession. According to Mujib Mashal of The New York Times, the Taliban entered the picture in the 1990’s. Mashal: “Music was banned, and art was limited to calligraphy and the drawing of immortal shapes. The first image that one encountered, upon entering Afghanistan from Pakistan through the Torkham Gate, was broken drums and destroyed film tape hanging from a tall mulberry tree.” It appears when the Taliban left in 2001, creativity flooded back in.
Afghan women are now starting to enroll at art schools at record numbers. With new television channels, magazines, and publications there is a need for creativity. However, there has been costs to this new freedom. Mashal: “Gradually, the presence of women increased, but it cost the lives of several young women in the media to get there. Zakia Zaki, Sanga Amach, and Shaima Rezayee are among the many female artists and presenters who were killed for the crime of appearing on television and trying to widen the role of women.”
Personally, I can’t image how these women felt being killed for something that was their passion and profession. However, can the Afghanistan government be trusted? They want to eventually integrate the Taliban back into the government.
But can Afghan women trust the Taliban?