Hanging by a thread: Mosaics for Afghan women

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Artists from across the world are invited to create a textile-inspired mosaic that will form part of a huge scarf, to raise awareness of the plight of Afghan women and girls.

Afghan women and girls are again confronted with the ultra-rigorous application of Islamic law, after the lightning seizure of power by the Taliban, who entered Kabul in August 2021. Bearing witness to a radical cultural throwback, art, poetry, music and colourful clothing have been banned since the Taliban’s return. Afghan women and girls face many forms of violence, they’re deprived of education and work, and their human dignity hangs by a thread.

Yet Afghanistan is a diverse country with over fourteen ethnic groups who each have their own traditional dresses, which are beautiful and colourful. They feature intricate patterns, rich colours, golden embroidery, and are all emblematic of Afghan culture.

From left: Sections of the scarf by Ceusters Mieke (Belgium), Chaouane Nawal (Algeria) and Thomas Denker (Germany)

It was from these facts that the idea of ‘Hanging by a Thread’ was born. This international collective work of mosaicists, to form a huge scarf, will represent the resilience of Afghan culture beyond its own borders. The mosaics should be 25x10cm, made mainly in glass direct on to mesh with mortar (with or without grout). Smalti, stained glass, recycled glass and fused glass are all appropriate materials.

Once your piece is completed, you should email an image of it to mosaicforafghanwomen@gmail.com with your name, address, country and email. A postal address will be sent to you depending on your location. The artwork needs to be sent to arrive no later than 1 July 2022.

Images provided by Bady Essid Jaballah, project initiator.

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