Fatimah, who managed to hop on a flight to Paris a day before Kabul fell to the Taliban, focused her work on portraits which aimed to dismantle the preconceptions of the Afghan woman. Smoking cigarettes behind the wheel of a car, posing in sunglasses and playing the electric guitar — her work was always meant to expose nuances in female identities.
“Women of Afghanistan are mostly overlooked and their voices and faces are underestimated. When I was looking and searching to explore where I belong, I saw there are so many things about women in Afghanistan that the world never sees,” she said.
Fatimah founded the Mastoorat organization, a non profit platform for Kabul-based female artists and has been exhibiting and speaking about her work around the world — recently in France and Italy. “I always try to show and capture the unseen portrait of women in Afghanistan — To talk about their strength, power, liberty and beauties.” (See full interview with photos here.)
The careers of women like Fatimah, Asal and Nilofar represent a relentless but noble resilience that should not be forgotten. “For many years in my homeland, despite many problems, I did not want to leave,” said Asal. “In the end” she added, “I want to say that I love my homeland and country very much, but I cannot stay.”