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Mah Hazara

(1990– )

Mah Hazara

Mah Hazara (Somaye Fasihi) was born in 1990 in Mashhad, Iran. Mah Hazara comes from Hazara-Afghanistani parents who fled from Afghanistan during the Russian-Afghan War. She became a refugee in Sweden at the end of 2019, and turned to painting in the summer of 2020 when she decided to buy a 5 color set of acrylic paint from a dollar store. At this time of transition as both a refugee and mother of two in a foreign country with a foreign language, Hazara began to experiment with paint as a medium to meditate on her life and heritage. Prior to painting, Hazara was writing short stories, but felt that she needed a larger canvas to express the inner workings of her mind. Her whole life has been spent in asylum and immigration, she found painting as a natural canvas to express those journeys.

Hazara’s paintings are meditations of her experiences as a human being, a woman, a mother, a refugee and someone who belongs to a nation that was subject to genocide a hundred years ago. Her paintings also act as reflections of her life experiences of chaos in this modern age.

Hazara writes, “As we are bombarded with information every day, the same bombardment happens within my work. Sometimes [my paintings] are so full of characters, that the main story gets pushed aside. The way that we live with and through our suffering, especially for women, we do not get a chance to be seen amidst this chaos, like important news that gets lost [within the headlines] of other news. In my mind, [my] paintings are not a summary of my life, rather, mirrors of human suffering that reflect within my soul. I think this is the spirit of our time...

I feel like I am constantly scratching the surface of the world with my nails. The thick layers that have prevented us from seeing the truth. Is a man a werewolf? Suffering and happiness are meaningless. Why do people get to the point of laughing when they are lynched? I can paint for hours without realizing how time passes without knowing what I'm drawing. Everything consumes all my soul and imagination through the canvas. Everything is very close and compact. It is as if I have taken the world in my fist and crushed it. I feel that it is the essence of this world that drips on the canvas.”

Mah Hazara currently resides in Ludvika, Sweden, where she continues to develop her craft and bring wide encompassing stories of human perseverance to the light.

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