Mention Afghanistan and thoughts of years-long conflict instantly comes to mind. But beneath the turmoil is a country rich in history dating back to 50,000 years ago.
Afghanistan, in fact, is considered home to various people and races, with each one leaving their imprint in the country’s culture and traditions.
Now, an exhibition brings to light Afghanistan’s vibrant art through an exhibition to mark the country’s 100th year of independence.
Made in Afghanistan at Etihad Modern Art Gallery (EMAG) here in Abu Dhabi is touted as the largest art exhibition dedicated to Afghan artists in the UAE.
The one-of-a-kind exhibit brings together 11 artists through over 50 artworks along with precious gemstones, handcrafts, antiques and agricultural products.
All these provide a glimpse into Afghanistan’s cultural heritage and arts, which sadly is often forgotten in the midst of its struggles and wars.
Contemporary artist Nabila Horakhsh is curating the exhibit. Other prominent artists in the bill are Shamsia Hassani, Afghanistan’s first female graffiti artist, Ali Baba Awrang, calligraphy painter, and Robaba Mohammadi, paralyzed artist who paints with her mouth.
“Majority of the artists in this exhibition work under conditions that are just unimaginable to most of us,” said Khalid Siddique Al Mutawaa, founder of EMGA.
“Life under constant fear and surrounded by violence, the security concerns often prevents Afghan artists from holding an exhibition in their own country.
“We are proud and delighted to be able to spread their message of peace and share their love for arts in Abu Dhabi.”
Nabila Horakhsh, co-founder of Berang Arts in Kabul, commented: “There are very few opportunities for Afghan artists to exhibit inside the country and access to international galleries is a real struggle for us.
I truly believe that this exhibition will have a very positive impact for the growth of Afghan artists.”Made in Afghanistan will run until 16th January 2020.