Mariam Beauty Salon and Journalist are part of her ongoing explorations into the traditional Afghan textile art while bringing into focus questions on standards of beauty and the rights of women across different levels of Afghan society. The reinterpretation of traditional Afghan textile art serves as a metaphor through which we can start to glimpse the limits of traditionalism; in particular how what is being promoted by ultra-conservatives as traditional social norms in Afghanistan only serves to maintain the status-quo of a patriarchal and male-dominated society in Afghanistan. Both works challenge this sort of traditionalism through the images of women they portray – women who might take pride in their beauty rather than hide it and women who work and speak out in society rather than remaining silent.
Hangama Amiri (Kabul, 1989) is a painter and mixed-media artist whose most recent explorations are comprised of large-scale textile works highlighting women’s rights and the role women play in society. Having fled Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in the 1990s, she received a BFA from NSCAD in Canada and completed her MFA in the Painting & Printmaking Department at Yale University in 2020. Amiri exhibits her work internationally including in Canada, Italy, France, the USA, and Bulgaria.