As the war intensifies in Afghanistan, several Afghan artists have begun exhibiting their work in busy areas in Kabul city in order to raise the spirits of the people, the artists say.
These artists believe that in the current chaotic situation in the country, there should be more artistic work to ease the people’s fear and worry.
One area where art galleries have been established is Pul-e-Surkh, in the west of Kabul, which is one of the most crowded and most visited areas in the city, home to many restaurants, coffee shops, and bookstores.
Salim Atayei and his two brothers as partners started three galleries in Kabul, where they display and sell drawings and artwork together, but Atayei also has his own art gallery in the Pul-e-Surkh area.
“Recently, the number of artists, art students, and art lovers has increased. People are familiar with modern art. There are many excellent talents on the rise,” Salim Atayei said.
Rukhsar, one of Atai's students, believes that the need for art during conflict is now being felt more than anytime else, because, according to her, art can change the soul and psyche and prevent mental problems and depression.
“Art changes humans’ thoughts a lot. It means that when someone thinks about art, this can change his or her spirit a lot."
Ghulam Sediq Sediqi, who has been creating art for nearly four decades, has opened a gallery in the Kocha Gol Foroshi area, another popular and crowded neighborhood in Kabul.
He has more than 170 paintings and drawings in his gallery, and he takes commissions for paintings as well. He sells his and his son's art in his gallery.
“We have various fans and customers for our paintings ... people who come from Herat ask for the paintings of the Herat Minaret, Kandaharis ask for paintings of Ahmad Shah Baba.”
In recent years, a growing number of art galleries have been established and opened in various parts of Kabul.