‘Art Is Dying’: Afghan Artists Hope to Resist Taliban Rule

A Click Away

But Farshad, one of the founders of ArtLords, an Afghan collective that previously covered the walls of Kabul with hundreds of murals promoting peace and women’s rights, still has hope.

He said unlike during the Taliban’s previous rule, people can now access art, music and films through the internet.

“The world is a click away from them,” he said. “So it will be very hard for the Taliban to impose or sanction art.”

Many ArtLords murals have already been replaced by drab propaganda slogans as the Taliban reimpose their austere vision.

Farshad is now in Paris, but asked to speak under a pseudonym, because he wants to return to Kabul to help other artists escape.

He pulls out one of the ArtLords’ most famous works — a Taliban fighter with a rocket launcher packed with pencils instead of ammunition.

“I don’t think art will die in Afghanistan,” he said. “I am sure one day the Taliban movement will die, but art will be there.”