Artist Statement

I make multidisciplinary art that celebrates my cultural heritage and experiences.

I am a queer Afghan American visual artist, educator, and graphic designer. 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 media, particularly after 9/11, Afghan and Muslim people are shown only in connection to violence and war. I want to present the richness and diversity of my Central Asian culture. I hope to challenge the one-dimensional representation of Afghan and Muslim people that fuels today’s atmosphere of racism and xenophobia.

My visual production is based in the research, study, and practice of various printmaking and book arts processes. In my research of the origins of different techniques, I found that many methods are tied to global histories of communication and dissemination of information. 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’ possibilities for chance, repetition, multiplicity, improvisation and collaboration. I can generate artwork in nuanced ways. I am also drawn to their materiality in the digital age.