Afghan Grafitti artist Malina Suliman Refuses to Back Down

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Mar 8 2013

Location: 

Kandahar, Afghanistan

After Afghan artist Malina Suliman's father suffered a brutal attack in their hometown of Kandahar, the Suliman family fled to Mumbai, where they plan on staying until the end of March. Malina is a 23 year-old grafitti artist whose work can be seen throughout Kandahar, including a self-portrait of a skeleton in a burqah that provoked threats from local Taliban. The Suliman family suspects the attack on Mr. Suliman was a further warning from the extremist group for Malina to cease creating her artwork.

Responding to the Afghan culture of gender inequality and repression, Malina began grafitti writing as a way of expressing herself. “I wanted to be the voice of the youth, and of the women in Kandahar who face similar restrictions instead of making paintings that would only be exhibited in galleries.” Suliman understands the unlikelihood of achieving "Western-style freedom," but still seeks to find "gender equality within an Islamic society."

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