AVAH COLLECTIVE RECOMMENDS:
10 AFGHAN ARTISTS TO KNOW
AVAH Collective, the independent and global research and multimedia collective, came together upon recognizing a lack of obtainable information and long term initiatives concerning the historical and contemporary practices originating in or relating to Afghanistan.
Through gathering art histories, contextualizing practices, and creating a professional network, the collective also aims to establish critical resources that will aid in understanding the past and equip the current generation of artists and cultural practitioners both in and out of the country.
This season Miilkiina joins forces with the collective, as they round up 10 Afghan creatives to know, whose work provides a deeper understanding of history, culture and daily life.
*Miilkiina is also proud to be collaborating with AVAH Collective on an upcoming webinar discussion November 22nd at 10 AM EST — Decentralized: Digital Creative Collectives and Online Archiving. Join the collective hosted by AVAH Collective, in conversation with Banat Collective (@banatcollective), Marcaz Projects (@marcazprojects), South Asia Art (@southasia.art), and Yahala Studio (@yahala.studio), as they discuss approaching unconventional curating, researching, and archiving. Register here!
Sahraa Karimi (@sahraa.karimiii) – Filmmaker
Sahraa Karimi is a prominent Afghan film director and writer with one of her films, Hava, Maryam, Ayesha, holding a world premier at the 76th Venice Film Festival. In addition to filmmaking Karimi had uplifted and empowered independent Afghan filmmakers, especially through her role as the first female chairperson of the Afghan Film Organisation. Karimi is known for her directorial projects including but not limited to Hava, Maryam, Ayesha; Paprika; Sonita; Afghan Women Behind the Wheel. Her possible upcoming project includes transforming her recent evacuation following the fall of Kabul in August 2021, into a movie. Although in exile, Karimi continues her work in support of Afghan creatives and the Afghan film industry.
Ali Rahimi (@alirahimipainter) – Artist
Ali Rahimi is an Tehran-based Afghan painter who focuses his practice on figurative works. His portraits encapsulate the emotion and frustrations of daily life as a refugee, through expressive yet raw imagery. His bold and seemingly rushed strokes are iconic through-out his practice.
Reza Hazare (@rezahazare) – Artist
A visual artist, Reza Hazare utilizes painting and sketching to convey the beauty of people through a different lens. In somewhat an abstract form, Hazare’s bodies and faces greatly serve the mood of his work. Hazare not only holds a degree in Painting at the Art Academy of Baku, Azerbaijan, but has been exhibited in Stockholm, Azerbaijan, and Tehran, just to name a few.
Hangama Amiri – Artist
Hangama Amiri is based in the US, and is widely recognised for her beautiful and intimate tapestry works. Hangama Amiri’s first solo exhibition Bazaar, Recollection of Home, was held in 2020 in Rome, Italy. Within this exhibit, her large-scale textile pieces recreated the physical experience and architectural space of a bazaar in Afghanistan. Having studied at Olimov College of Art in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Yale School of Art in Connecticut, USA, Amiri has taken her artistic abilities both traditional and non-traditional routes.
Khadim Ali (@khadim96) – Artist
As a visual artist, Khadim Ali’s work touches multiple mediums all incorporating vivid colors, intricate imagery, and beautiful symbolism. Khadim Ali began his art career painting murals as an illegal labourer, painting murals of Iran’s revolutionary leaders. Ali now resides and works in Sydney, Australia, where he is a critically acclaimed and globally recognised artist. Furthermore, Ali was trained in classical miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore and in mural painting and calligraphy in Tehran. Ali’s work has been exhibited across the globe. In 2019 Ali was prominently on display at Sharjah Biennial and this year he opened his show Invisible Borders at the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane.
Orna Kazimi (@ornakazimi) – Artist
Orna Kazimi is a visual artist based in London. Orna’s work and research explore personal encounters with migration in relation to collective memories of displacement through drawings, installation and writing. Her works have been shown at Tate Exchange- Tate Modern- London 2018, Overpr!nt – Centre de la Gravure, La Louviere 2018, Art Amongst War: Visual Culture in Afghanistan-TCNJ Art Gallery- New Jersey 2014, 4th Afghan Contemporary Art Prize Exhibition- Queen’s Palace- Afghanistan 2013. She was awarded the Caspian Arts Foundation Scholarship (2016) and studied at the Central Saint Martins in London (2018).
Lida Abdul – Artist
Born in Kabul in 1979, Lida Abdul fled Afghanistan in 1979 during the Soviet Union living in India, Germany, and the United States. In a talk with the Guggenheim Museum, Abdul and her experiences have allowed her to view herself as a nomadic artist, where her work incorporates the themes of “cultural identity, migration, and the processes of destruction and displacement that have marked Afghanistan’s recent history.” Her short films and documentaries such as “White House,” “Dome,” “Trees,” “Clapping with Stones,” and “Brick Sellers of Kabul” are just a few examples of how her work permeates into a variety of themes and symbols reflecting her experiences in some manner. Abdul has had countless of exhibitions across the Middle East, Europe, and North America.
Latifa Zafar Attaii (@lati_zafar_attaii) – Artist
A visual artist specializing in photography, embroidery, cross stitching, and more, Latifa Zafar Attaii instills new life and symbols into everyday items such as photos, paper money, and more. By focusing on essential aspects of Afghan culture, Attaii’s cross-stitching patterns completely transform the symbolic nature of photos capturing people, ordinary gatherings, and monuments. Their work has been exhibited in Dubai, Lahore, Tehran, Goa, Abu Dhabi, among others.
Aman Mojadidi – Artist/Curator
Born in 1971 in Jacksonville, Florida, Aman Mojadidi is an America-Afghan visual artist most known for his artwork that explores the themes of Afghan politics and cross-cultural identity. Mojadidi has stated that most of his work “disturbs identity and challenges authority.” Understanding and incorporating both the American and Afghan cultural perspectives, Mojadidi produces striking and thought provoking pieces that defy political norms.
Morteza Herati (@mortezaherati) – Photographer
Born in Herat, Morteza Herati specializes in photography and videography as he captures the everyday lives of people in Afghanistan. They have spotlighted people and events, such as Mmcc Global and their work with children in Afghanistan through their social circus to bring joy. Herati’s portraits beautifully capture the essence of each person, their life, and history. His candid photos of daily life speak volumes as the viewer gets a peak into the lives of others of various ages.