Kabul’s female graffiti artist


‘Birds are always travelling and don’ t have a specific nation’ Shamsia Hassani

Walk down an alley in Kabul, Afghanistan and you might spot a painting of a sharp-featured woman in a blue burqa on the side of a building. That’s the work of Shamsia Hassani, Kabul’s master graffiti artist and a fine arts lecturer at Kabul University. Through fast-acting and inventive new techniques, Hassani’s bringing a world of art to the streets of her city. In the face of brutal social and living conditions for women, Hassani spray paints messages of hope across the walls of Kabul.

In a survey conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2011, Afghanistan was listed the worst place in the world to be a woman. Social norms and religious strictures created an environment where women can’t speak out and are targeted when they take on public roles (like police officers and news…

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