In a recent Afghan art exhibition, Zuhal Latif, a 2013 PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® graduate, recently unveiled 3 new works depicting recent martyr, Farkhunda, and the plight of the Afghan people. Zuhal, along with other classmates, were asked to share their concerns regarding current events in Afghanistan through different mediums of art.
Farkhunda was the focus of her first painting. Farkhunda, a 27-year old Afghan woman, was killed in March 2015 for allegedly arguing with a mullah who had falsely accused her of burning the Quran. Police investigations found that she had not burned anything, and since then, her murder has served as a catalyst for women’s rights in Afghanistan.
“In an effort to keep Farkhunda’s memory alive, I wanted to paint her from a different angle”, says Zuhal, “we cannot forget.”
Zuhal Latif is the owner of the Afghan Center for Contemporary Arts in Kabul and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Art from Kabul University. In the beginning, Zuhal was not supported by her family in the pursuit of a career in art. “It wasn’t considered a proper place for women since art included music, painting, calligraphy, sculpture, and cinema”, says Zuhal. But after much persistence, she finally received her family’s approval to attend Kabul University in pursuit of her dreams. An unrelenting attitude seems to resonate with Zuhal when it comes to women’s rights and the pursuit of one’s dreams. In her second piece, she shows an Afghan woman being suppressed by society’s pressures and views of women. Although she abides by society’s demands to cover—she still faces ridicule.
The third piece, titled “Yell”, depicts the frustration of an Afghan man at his current economic and social disposition. Zuhal used headlines and clippings from the latest newspapers for the background and showed the man’s pain and fear through her use of colors.
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