Friday, March 6, 2015

Afghanistan Vignette Illustrations

          There has been a slight delay with my escort to get home but that does give me time to save fixative on my life drawings and clean up before I leave. It has been a stressful week with midterms and keeping the artist vibes going before sleeping it off in the weekend.

As you can tell, it has been forever but I finally done a colored portrait of myself. I bought back the enjoyment I had with the pastels I did my freshmen and high school years, where I could just get lost and forgotten in my strokes. This is just a great improvements with my planes and rendering, now it is just with the blending of colors.

               I spend a majority of my time on this weeks' illustration 2 assignment, which was to illustrate a specific part of any culture, ranging from any foreign cultures to actually global trends (hair, outfits, extra). Instead of a small windows of illustrated scenes, we have to do vignette design, illustrates that exist in negative and positive space of its surroundings and the canvas paper. Originally I was thinking about during the culture timeline of musical devices or wall painting murals. However, this topic has been bugging me ever since the creation of the Desert Silhouettes and discussion in Humanities, I wanted to do this: the current lifestyle of Afghanistan Women. These are my interpreted illustrations and a summary of my research below them.

                         In the first vignettes, this showed the tradition of women's dress ware of the burqa or burka. In their culture, there are variety of clothing (Niquab, Hijab, Chadier and Dupatta) but the burka were known for religious purposes, to cover one self and be modest of their body. However, when wives were interviewed, they noted that their husbands often make them wear the burka to conceal themselves from other men to only be seen by husbands. With that, its gives the impression of removing the individually of the person, making the males become possessive over their wives and turning females into objects residing with the house furniture. Even when the Taliban was ruling, they had to wear the burka to cover their entire self. If any indication of skin is shown, they are beaten out on the streets. Also, it was expected for women to stay inside their house and only have a male escort when traveling outside and medical centers.

                          This piece shows a positive side right now of the situation. With the Taliban our of power, women now have the opportunity to go to school and get an education. This opens a lot of door, flowing in creativity, art, culture, music, and communication with others. For instance, this image of the girl dancing represents their dancing culture, Attan. In tradition, dancing was the respectful way to spiritually connect to the gods, mainly to worship or entertain the gods. It then spread to folk dancing to giving confident to the soldiers. One of the dance style is Kabuli Attan, a male and female movement that would revolve in circles and gradually speed up with the musicians.
Now as get it is, this is just an opportunity that need to be expanded because still 85% of Afghanistan women unable to attend school, 12% women uneducated and 40% of children unable to attend schools. This is due to child marriages, financial and transportation to access these schools. There were even instances of schools being burned down to threatening teachers for teaching women. For now, this is a great step that needs to be expanded upon for everyone to obtain.  

                  The last vignette design shows the lifestyle of women in prison. Currently a lot of women are deported to jail, as more than 600 women went to Kabul jail in May 2013. The crime committed are labeled as "Moral Crimes". This term implies to a women runaway from their household or husband, one of the dishonors for a women to perform. The reasons for running away is listed for abusive husbands or households, kidnapping, rape, torture and slavery prostitution. There also also instances of women performing zina, aka sex outside their arranged marriages. 
             Instead of punishing the men, it is most commonly the women blamed for it since Afghanistan is still as male demography influenced by the Taliban name, they blame it on the women for bing victimized. Oh yes, when a women is rape or pregnant, the female has to go through child birth, which a large percentage dies of. And it lucky, they have to raise their children inside the jail cell. Even after their release, it doesn't make it any better. Prisoners can be released due to their assigned time length or can be release if they accept an agreement (mainly agreeing to the arranged marriage). 
              This is just an sample of females being dehumanized from male authority power. It is extremely damaging it ruins the women's reputation. This sigh of adultery or disobedience of man's word tarnished the women life, being disgraced to the entire village and her family. The best place for women to retreat to are small hidden shelter that nurture the wife and child back to health in a safe environment.  

   This was a interesting project to create and I hoping I can create more of series. I'm not expecting anything impacting from this but I just want to bring awareness this culture that is still happening.

Here are the links where I got my information:

youtube video
Prisoners of Tradition: Women in Afghanistan

Afghan Women Share Stories of Surviving Abuse

To Kill a Sparrow: Afghan Women Jailed for Love

The Taliban's War on Women

Special Series- The Girls of the Taliban

Dark Flowers: The story of Self-immolation in Afghanistan

Abuse of Women in the Taliban

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