An Afghan artist Malina Suliman paints graffiti on a wall in Kandahar city. For Afghanistan, the only thing out of place in this gruesome scene is that the blood is not real, but is red paint. (Reuters)
Charred bodies lie scattered against blood-stained walls and debris covers the ground. The unusual thing in this gruesome scene is that the “blood” is red paint, and part of an art installation.
It’s a work by 23-year-old Afghan artist Malina Suliman. She risks her life, Suliman says, sometimes working by flashlight after dark, to create art in southern Kandahar province, still one of the most dangerous areas in the country.
Her pieces, which range from conceptual art to paintings and sculpture, are bold representations of the problems facing her generation.
“Many people had never seen an art installation,” Suliman said of “War and Chaos,” her exhibit last year, which depicts the aftermath of a suicide bombing, a not uncommon event in Kandahar.
“Some were offended and others were hurt because they’d experienced it before.”
Her pieces earned her an invitation last year to visit the Kabul palace of President Hamid Karzai, who is also from Kandahar, where she showed him her art.
Suliman’s work is now making waves in the Afghan capital, where she lived as a child after fleeing the violence of her native province. She had two Kabul exhibitions in December, a highlight of which was a sculpture of a woman in baggy clothing with a noose tied around her neck.