artist and educator from Afghanistan
Shamsia Hassani (شمسیه حسنی) (born April 09, 1988) is an artist and associate professor at Kabul University.
- In the past, women were removed from society and they wanted women to stay only at home and wanted to forget about women. Now, I want to use my paintings to remind people about women.“I have changed my images to show the strength of women, the joy of women. In my artwork, there is lots of movement. I want to show that women have returned to Afghan society with a new, stronger shape. It’s not the woman who stays at home. It’s a new woman. A woman who is full of energy, who wants to start again. You can see that in my artwork, I want to change the shape of women. I am painting them larger than life. I want to say that people look at them differently now.
- Article (2021)
- I use them [music instruments] as a symbol for women to play her voice with it. She can use musical instruments to talk with people, to speak louder and [get] more attention, as she has no mouth. But this musical instrument gives her power to speak in society.
- Her eyes are closed, because usually she has nothing good around herself to see ... and sometimes she cannot see her future. And that's why her eyes are closed, but it doesn't mean she cannot see.
- I am really scared of public spaces. I am really scared of explosions happening all the time. And specifically, it's difficult for women to do graffiti and street art because usually people are not happy with women's activities … all the time I am careful.
- I was born In Iran, it was not my country, but at the same time, I never been in Afghanistan, as an afghan person I have faced with lots of limitations, like they didn’t let me to study at art department, only because of my nationality, so when I get back to Afghanistan with my family, I have started studying at faculty of fine arts of Kabul university in 2006 and then, I have started making contemporary art, as well.
- My name means the Sun and I always love the sunny weather as well.
- the reasons that I like to do graffiti are: 1- with making graffiti I want to cover all bad memories of war from people’s mind, with colors to cover all bad element of war with my graffiti’s. 2- to introduce art to people with making graffiti, cause as you know afghan people has no chance to visit some art gallery or museums, or they don’t want to go to some art exhibition, so if I do art everybody will enjoy it. In outside it is for longer time and slowly people with memorize it and it will be part of their life when every day they use the same way of that wall, it doesn’t need to ticket as well, it is colorful and bringing some change and give too much color to people’s mind. 3- I could say my words with shape to people, easily, image has more effect then word, and it’s a friendly way to fight, as I am fighting, now, for women rights as well with my art. 4- I believe there are many who forget all the tragedy women face in Afghanistan that is why I use my paintings as a mean to remind the people. I want to highlight the matter in the society, with paintings reflecting women in Burqas everywhere. And I try to show them bigger than what they are in reality, and in modern forms, in shaped in happiness, movement, maybe stronger. I try to make people look at them differently.
- I want to colour over the bad memories of war on the walls, and if I colour over these bad memories, then I erase [war] from people’s minds. I want to make Afghanistan famous because of its art, not its war.
- Article (2014)
- Following much difficulties such as war, different harsh eras, and political issues, Afghanistan is now starting again a new life for which I put all my effort – through arts – to support.
- I recognized that some times it is difficult to do graffiti in the street, but I am full of energy to do graffiti, So then I created a new style of graffiti, which is my own style, where I do photography from every where that I like: buildings, walls, city. And then after printing them, I am doing graffiti on the walls in the pictures with brush and acrylic paints […] I call it (Dreaming Graffiti) not digital… At the beginning of this style I did 2-3 graffiti by computer, but I couldn’t feel my art through the computer.
- By making graffiti, I want to cover all bad memories of war from people’s minds with colors—to cover all bad element of war with my graffiti. I want to introduce art to people with making graffiti because as you know Afghan people have no chance to visit some art gallery or museum, or they don’t want to go to some art exhibition, so if I do art every body will enjoy it. Outside it is for longer time and slowly people will memorize it and it will be a part of their life when every day they use the same way of that wall. They also don’t need a ticket to see it, it is colorful and bringing some change to people’s minds. I could say my words with shapes to people, easily; image has more effect than word, and it’s a friendly way to fight, as I am fighting, now, for women rights as well with my art. I believe there are many who forget all the tragedy women face in Afghanistan, that is why I use my paintings as a means to remind the people. I want to highlight the matter in the society, with paintings reflecting women in Burqas everywhere. And I try to show them bigger than what they are in reality, and in modern forms, in shaped in happiness, movement, maybe stronger. I try to make people look at them differently. I don’t want to talk only about negative points of their life, about their problems and difficulties, at the same time I want to talk about positive points and their happiness as well. That is true that about 90% of their lives are problems, but …. Sometimes I really enjoy to talk about that 10% which is like a small light shining between darkness,10% is not too much, but there it is. A little light is enough to break the darkness, my images are a small light.
- I am scared a lot, from bad situation / security problem / close mind people/ feeling unsafe because of my gender …but really happy that I can paint and I can do something: sharing ideas with people, introducing art, make an open gallery in the street, covering bad memories of war from walls and people’s minds.
- By using the internet, I can get in touch with all over the world and I can share my artworks to show my art to more people not only people of Afghanistan. And also people can get some idea about Afghanistan—maybe with my art I can bring some changes in people’s minds, and remove bad views of Afghanistan from people’s minds. To make my country famous by Art, not by War. Maybe I can answer lots of questions of people about Afghanistan.