Artist Statement

I make art that celebrates my cultural heritage and experiences.

I am a queer Afghan American visual artist, designer, and educator. My family left Afghanistan when the Soviet Union invaded in 1979. Since then, I have stayed connected to my Afghan culture through my family, community, and the media. In the press, particularly after 9/11, Afghan and Muslim people are shown only in connection to violence and war. My earlier works focus on disrupting these inauthentic depictions. I want to present the richness and diversity of my Central Asian culture and speak of my lived experiences.

My visual art production is based on the research, study, and practice of various printmaking and book arts processes. In my analysis of the origins of different techniques, I found that many methods are tied to global communication histories. These methods naturally offer limitless possibilities for me to make my socially engaged work and tell the stories that are important to me. I am drawn to these methods’ opportunities for chance, repetition, multiplicity, improvisation, and collaboration. I can generate artwork in nuanced ways. I am also drawn to their tangibility in the digital age.