Meena Sadiqi is a Sydney-based artist whose project, Meena Home, is reframing narratives surrounding Afghanistan in order to demystify stereotypes and celebrate her own Afghani heritage.
Tired of the ‘Western Lens’ that depicted the country as perpetually war-torn or culturally bereft, Meena took to Instagram to post collages she had created that portrayed Afghanistan’s vibrant social and cultural identity.
‘I wanted to create a platform that counteracted the media’s solely negative portrayal of developing countries involved in an ongoing war,’ Meena explained to Huck. ‘My art rather emphasises the beauty and culture of war-torn countries.’
Sadiqi’s creations reflect a blending of cultures by combining different images, texts and visual ephemera into a single depiction. Some of her most striking work deals in posed portraits, as they bring human faces to a space where personality, where people’s lives, are so often cast aside by political discourse and media perception.
This unreality has acted as such an effective tool that even Meena subscribed to it until she saw Afghanistan first hand. As she told Huck: ‘There were vibrant streets, marketplaces swarming with people, scenic views and amazing architecture…People were continuing to make a living regardless of the dangers that threatened them.’
Check out some of her work below:
Even if we are personally tied to certain places, unfavourable narratives can completely cloud our perspective of them.
Projects like Meena’s aren’t only artistically brilliant, they go some way to tackling the harmful ‘single stories’ that give false impressions of what places are really like.
So keep seeking out the beauty behind the headlines, because it may just change your outlook.
Be sure to follow Meena on Instagram.