Afghan graffiti artist Shamsia Hassani takes on the Taliban.
Art, like words, soars above the realities they’re meant to embody; it’s not easy embodying all the reality to be found in reality. But in some cases, artists succeed, or at least manage to create a parallel reality, one so powerful that it competes with reality itself, adding another dimension.
That said, I’m not sure how to categorize Shamsia Hassani. She seems to be one of those rare cases where both things apply: she reflects reality in her work, while immersing us in a parallel world that appeals to that larder where we keep the last drop of hope. Hope is always beautiful, even when you know you are the loser – Hassani says in a post about one of her pieces depicting a paper aircraft chasing a fighter plane.
The reality she is portraying is clear for all to see. But even if we were to pretend that what’s happening in Afghanistan weren’t happening, her works would still be loaded with meaning and beauty. With a few colors, especially a certain turquoise, and a mouthless woman with long eyelashes, repeated ad nauseam, carrying out everyday tasks, Hassani transports us to her world.
The tweet, which Hassani calls The Window of Our House, could not be simpler. It’s the same girl, with the long eyelashes, mouthless, who takes her window under her arm through which a city, lit with turquoise, can be seen beyond, and in which that girl seems to be saying, do not leave your belongings unattended, especially your dreams!