Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Afghan women showcase once-forbidden art"

It's nice to see articles like this whenever they pop up. Only ten years ago, Afghanistan was dominated by a barbaric regime that used stadiums to perform public executions and destroyed all works of art that "worshipped false idols" (as was the case with the destruction of the centuries old Buddhist statues in 2001), and now, women are able to show exhibitions of their art in high school auditoriums:

Seven years ago, the Taliban would have torn these paintings to pieces.

The 93 works show the emotions and images of a war-torn country in which women are still deeply oppressed: war and weaponry, violence, entrapment, hopelessness - and hope.

But the Taliban would have been most offended by the gender of the artists: women.

Twenty-three young artists displayed their work at a recent eight-day show in Kabul attended by 3,000 people, according to event organizer Rahraw Omarzad. The show, which ended Monday, now travels to the western city of Herat.

Under the hard-line Taliban regime, women were forbidden to leave home without a male relative as an escort, and girls were not allowed to go to school. Figurative art was banned and even destroyed.

"I couldn't paint during Taliban regime because I didn't have enough material, and I wasn't allowed to go out and buy paint," said 22-year-old artist Maryam Formuli.

"I was young and couldn't go to the art center to learn because as a girl, I wasn't allowed to go to school," added artist Fareha Ghezal, 19.


Unfortunately, the article didn't have any photos of the art in question. If anyone has any, please provide a link.

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