Ask westerners living in Afghanistan what they think about the country’s future and you get a variety of answers, most cynical. But the best response I heard was two weeks ago over a coffee at Kabul’s Flower Street Cafe, “The people are sweet and the country’s a mess”.
Shamsia epitomizes the ‘people are sweet and the country’s a mess’ like few others. An artist and faculty professor of fine arts at Kabul University, she has a soft disposition and gentle face with large brown eyes and an easy smile that makes her seem even younger than her 23 years. After knowing Shamsia virtually for two years, I finally got to sit down with her at the artist refuge, The Venue in Kabul where one of her murals is a work in progress on an interior wall, to discuss her vision of art in Afghanistan and beyond.