Malina Suliman (Afghanistan)

Malina Suliman, a graffiti artist, metalworker, and painter, was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1990. As a child, she and her family were forced to flee her home province to live in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Her work is considered to challenge traditional Muslim culture like the burqa. According to Suliman, “The burqa is a way of controlling, but in the name of respect. Every culture or religion gives a different name for the burqa. It is honor, culture, and religion. Really, it just controls the woman and keeps her inside.” Malina’s work has gained the attention of the Taliban and traditional Muslims, resulting in having received threats from the Taliban towards Suliman and her family. The artist was subject to physical threats, rocks have been thrown at her as she conducts her work. Not only does Malina worry about the Taliban, but her family who disagrees with her decision to create art. Creating art that displays the human body like Malina’s motif, the skeleton in a burqa, is seen as idol worship. To the Taliban and other traditional Muslims, Malina’s artwork is un-Islamic and Suliman’s parents were embarrassed. Suliman spends her time holding art exhibits around the world.