Homaira Afghani is one of the Authors on the Kite Runner Platform, expressing herself with witty radical cartoons condemning the Taliban’s suppressive politics against women.
She lives in Herat, a beautiful but conservative Afghan City close to Iran. Interview with her about the motivation for her work.
Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Homaira Afghani, a young Afghan female painter. I’ve always loved to draw, and my parents and teachers always encouraged me to keep drawing until today. Likewise, I have plenty of drawings. I am a third-year student of the computer science faculty in Herat city, but all universities in Afghanistan have been closed by the Taliban, and I am unable to continue my studies. However, I am currently pursuing a laboratory course at a private university located in Herat city.
How did you experience the Fall of Kabul?
Honestly, it was a very bitter experience when Kabul fell to the Taliban, and I was in Herat city when the Taliban took over the entire country. I was shocked and couldn’t believe it. All of my dreams and goals were reduced to zero within one night. For two weeks, I didn’t even go out of the house because I was afraid of the Taliban, which was sorrowful for me.
How has your life changed?
My entire life changed when Afghanistan fell. I can’t paint freely anymore. Before the Taliban came, I used to make money by selling my paintings and pay for my education and living things, but when the Taliban came, everything was destroyed. It’s impossible for me to continue my studies anymore. I worked hard to get into the university and wanted to be able to help my country and family in the future. The Taliban took everything away from me.
Which themes are you interested in? How important is drawing for you?
Painting is the discovery of an inner world for me. Painting gives me hope, and I believe it is a powerful tool with which I can express my feelings, objections, and desires. I’ve done paintings before, but for now, I do it because the Taliban are oppressing Afghan women and girls. I want to show this oppression to the whole world to let people know about the realities under the regime of this terrorist group. And I would like to express my feelings about them.
I will never give up, and I will keep painting and doing a lot of protest work. I’m still hopeful about continuing my education in Afghanistan or elsewhere.