Graffiti As The Voice Of Afghans
Image credit: Dawn
NEW DELHI: Meet Kabir Mokamel, an artist whose dream is to transform the battered city fo Kabul in conflict-torn Afghanistan with graffiti murals.
"I feel like we are under siege," the Afghan Australian artist told the LA Times. "Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by barriers."
Mokamel’s ambitious project started four years after he returned to Afghanistan from Australia, where his family sought refuge during fighting in the 1990s. His plan is to paint the concrete walls in Afghanistan and through that, share messages about the transformation of Afghan society.
"Our first goal is to contribute something to beautify Kabul," he tells Al Jazeera. "Plus, Kabul has all of these blast walls, and they look extremely ugly. "Psychologically, when I come into Kabul I feel under siege. So we're painting some strategic pieces of art in order to educate the public. "When you put a picture on a wall, the wall disappears and you are in a new space, that's very important for me."
The first project that Mokamel revealed was a giant pair of women's eyes. The message at the back reads: “"I’m watching you. Corruption is not hidden from God or the people's eyes."
(Image credit: Ali M. Latifi / For the Times)
Another piece shows Afghans toting hearts in a wheelbarrow, and a heart with a band aid. “It’s about healing the wounds of the country," Mokamel tells Al Jazeera.
It is an ambitious project, but one that may have a far reaching impact on how Afghans view themselves. Here is some of Mokamel’s work:
(Kabir Mokamel's graphic billboards in Kabul. Image credit: CityNews.com.au)
(Kabir Mokamel's graphic billboards in Kabul. Image credit: CityNew.com.au)
(Image credit: Al Jazeera)
(Image credit: Revolve.media)