As the world notes the achievements of women on March 8, International Women’s Day, a newly opened exhibition, presented by the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, casts a spotlight on young Afghan women artists and arts entrepreneurs who are reviving the culture and economy of their country. ‘Turquoise Mountain; Artists Transforming Afghanistan,’ which opened on March 5 and runs through January 2017, tells a powerful human story of resilience and creativity amidst the ruins of war in Afghanistan, focusing on the lives of the young Afghan artists living and working there.
Sughra Hussainy, a young painter who was orphaned as a child, went on to study at Turquoise Mountain’s arts institute in Kabul. For Hussainy, who lives with her brother in western Kabul, art is a source of solace and hope. For this exhibition, she and two friends have made all the raw material-including paper, pens, and pigments-to create a piece of illumination work and calligraphy.