Portrait : Abdul Qasem Foushanji

Abul Qasem Foushanji – aka Dark Artery – born in 1987 (Afghanistan) is an Afghan freelance artist. His creates mostly Abstract artworks in mediums of painting/illustration, sound, and mixed media.

Along with his family, he spent 18 years of his life in Iran.

For about four years, during his childhood, he learned Realism painting from his Armenian master but after that he never went through any academy for arts.

He was graduated from high school in Tehran in 2004, and it was the same year that he came back to his origin, Afghanistan.

As Metal music has been a part of his life, and it was all a new life experience in India, Qasem started painting in the field of Modern Art in his second year of staying in that country (2007).

At that time his art (mostly paintings and drawings at that time) were more linked to the theme of “weakness and the failure of human body”.

After coming back from India, he continued working on paintings more concentrated, and was selected as one of Top10 artists for the 2nd Afghan Contemporary Art Prize.

Since then, his works have been on several group exhibitions in Kabul, while recently chosen to exhibit for dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany as well as for its Kabul exhibition.

Qasem often reflects the unclean and dark aspects of life, believing “most of the people ignore such aspects, because it is not beautiful, but showing it more can help to create solutions.”

He is currently focused on creating more multimedia works. He also plays bass and writes the lyrics for Afghanistan’s only Metal band District Unknown. The artists that he is inspired by are Björk, Mogwai, Clyfford Still, and Salvador Dali.

 

601136_469541049774244_1827379093_n

Portrait : Zarlacht Sarmastand

 

Zarlasht Sarmastand women’s rights activist born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. She started her television career at the age of 11 in 2006 presenting and producing radio segments for the “Powerful Youth”, a programme broadcasted at RTA (Radio Television Afghanistan) radio station. Due to her talent, later on she was invited to produce and present “Future Makers,” a TV programme funded by JICKA and broadcasted also in RTA, featuring young peace ambassadors and movers and shakers throughout the country whom were very active in their communities and working in the peace-building on the nation. In 2008, she joined the production team of “CSA: Crime Scene Afghanistan” as the youngest TV presenter and producer along with award-winner journalists Amin Hanqo and Zabiullah Arya to produce and anchor the weekly youth segment on Children and Youth’s right in Afghanistan. Funded by UNAMA, the TV programme promoted the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 2011, Zarlasht was named as Afghanistan’s Youth Peace Ambassador by the Afghan National Jirga for her constant work advocating for youth’s and women’s right. Some of her latest projects include the 2013 Sound Central Music Festival for the Youth, “We Believe in Balloons” peace campaign and arts installation, “Creative Despite War” film project, among others. She is currently working in the production of a web series called “Conversations with Zarlasht” featuring interviews focusing on the artists, politicians, musicians, and citizens that are living and working in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is also applying to different university programmes and scholarships opportunities to study Human Rights and Journalism.

IMG_20131122_032449

Portrait : Zolaykha Sherzad

Zolaykha Sherzad was born in Kabul, Afghanistan where she lived until the age of ten. When the Soviets invaded in 1979, Zolaykha and her family were forced to flee and settled as political refugees in Switzerland.

Trained as an architect, Zolaykha received her Masters in Architecture from the School of Architecture at the Federal Institute of Technology.

In 2000, she founded School of Hope, a non-profit organization that has successfully rebuilt and supported primary and secondary schools in rural Afghanistan.

In 2004, she started Zarif Design (Zarif means “precious” in Farsi) to help revive the Afghan artistic culture.

Today Zarif Design employs 50 Afghan women and men who, from their homes and one workshops in the old city of Kabul, revive traditional Afghan textiles and create strikingly unique and magnificently finished jackets and coats.

 

 

13015FAW_PRO_Jacket4_F_large

 

Are you ready to get your hands on beautiful, handmade clothing? Email zarif@zarifdesign.com, view the contact information or visit http://www.farandwidecollective.com/collections/jackets to purchase something now.

 

 

 

Portrait : Mehdi Zafari

My name is Mehdi Zafari, born in 1983 in Ghazni province of Afghanistan in the Gol-Kuh village in the district of Qarah Bagh.

I am studying Anthropology at the EHESS in Paris, France, I am also a documentary filmmaker.

When I was a child, during the Soviet Union invasion, our house was bombed by the Soviet killing eight of my family.  Following that tragedy, my family decided to take refugee first in Pakistan and then in Iran.  I finished my school in Iran, a country with which we share the same language and religion.

With the fall of Taliban regime I decided to go back to my country in order to continue my education. A year later, I entered Kabul University, Fine Arts section.

The faculty lacked expert teachers and equipments. The workshops launched by foreign embassies were our only hope for knowledge and experience.

In 2006, I entered a course on documentary filmmaking delivered by the French Film School Ateliers Varan. Since then I have participated in a summer school on Cinema and Human Rights held in conjunction with the Venice Film Festival in Italy, participated in the Berlin Film Festival’s Berlinale-Talent Campus, attended the French National Film School La Fémis Documentary Summer School, attended the  “5 sur 5” Film Festival held in La Louviere Belgium and took part in a Film Editing course provided by Ateliers Varan in Kabul and some workshop in Paris at INA.

In 2009 Ateliers Varan workshop, along with my former French professor, I served as assistant trainer for a new group of 10 young film students.

In October and November 2010, I was working as Trainer and Training Coordinator in a production and training documentary program for young film students in Afghanistan called Community Supported Film from Boston, USA.