Have you seen the graffiti work of 24 year old Shamsia Hassani, an associate professor of Sculpture at Kabul University in Afghanistan and a founding member of a contemporary art collective, Roshd (which means development/growth)?

Things of beauty…

A lot of her work features women in burqas, but with a modern silhouette, with hips and sharp shoulders or fish, trapped. The second piece is captioned: “The water can come back to a dried-up river, but what about the fish that died?”.  She says:

Art can bring change, I am sure. If people see an artwork, it will perhaps only cause a small shock to their mind, but that can grow and grow.

The last piece is by a male colleague.



  1. Afghan women, who have been suppressed by the Taliban and religion, need genuine support from people around the world. I have been a big supporter of liberation of women in Muslim countries, especially in Afghanistan. But I do not support any moral decadence of the kind seen in the Western countries. These women deserve an education and a decent life. It’s time they are freed from the crimes perpetrated upon them by men.

  2. Art and expression. You gotta love it!

    Whether it’s handprints in neolithic caves or graffiti on ancient monuments or women like Shamsia Hassan; the human being has always felt a strong need to say; ‘Look, I have been here too. This is what I have seen, this is what I have experienced also’.

    And this again proves something I often argue; Despite all the shit that has been thrown at us to divide, whether it be religion, nationality, politics, etc; We are still here, still communicating and still expressing ourselves and reaching out to others.

    Now, if only we could send the individuals at Roshd a message. Their artwork has been seen and the messages they contain appreciated.

    Excellent. Thanks Maryam.

  3. What an iconic image that is of Shamsia with her spray cans, below her marvellous graffito. In Maryam’s link to ‘The Guardian’ article, Shamsia’s words are: “The water can come back to a dried-up river, but what about the fish that died?”. A beautiful expression … let us hope that water will indeed return to her benighted land & let us remember all of those fish who died.

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