Shamsia Hassani artwork analysis

Shamsia Hassani is Afghanistan’s first female grafitti and street artist and is known for her representation of women in her artwork. She currently lives in Afghanistan where representation of women in all aspects of life are overshadowed by men, especially artwork, as well as suffering from attacks from the Taliban.

This grafitti piece, created by Shamsia Hassani, was created as a response to an extremist attack on a maternity ward that killed pregnant women. Shamsia depicts a women and a baby, as well as a military tank in the background.

Though this piece is mainly in black and white, the baby, the mother’s heart, and a chord that connections the baby and the mother’s heart is presented with colour. The use of colour of the baby, in comparison to the rest of the black and white artwork helps to make it stand out. The colour also symbolises life and hope, in contrast to the monotone black and white, communicating to the reader the potential of life and joy that was stolen from the unborn baby. The heart being blue in colour, and not red, may communicate the sadness of the situation, as blue is usually used to symbolise sadness.

Another aspect of this artwork that stood out was the military tank in the background. This very clearly and explicitly shows to the readers that this artwork was made to show the tragedies of war and conflict. This also connects back to the artist’s situation, as she was living in a state of war right before this artwork was created. Many artists were silenced and had to stop creating art, especially women like her. Perhaps, this artwork could be used not only to represent pregnant women, and women in warzones, but also herself, with the baby symbolising her artworks and her desperate efforts to protect her artwork from the Taliban who are trying to steal her voice away from her, as well as countless lives.


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