Afghan artists have been forced to quickly cover up their painted murals all over Afghanistan for fear of retaliation from the Taliban.

Many of these pieces of art were demands for equal rights and women’s rights, while some simply showed beautiful scenes and offered words of hope and encouragement. Sadly, they have all been covered up by thick layers of paint, Taliban propaganda, and Taliban flags.

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Curator Omaid Sharifi said, “The biggest fear for me, and most of the artists I work with. Is not being able to express ourselves, to criticize the power. The fear is that this society will become just black and white. That we will not have the beautiful diversity and beautiful colors in this country anymore.”

The Taliban has personally destroyed nearly 100 painted murals. This is nothing new as they have always taken a hard stand against art and self-expression. They had also destroyed many cultural heritage sites, paintings, and statues before US troops came to Afghanistan.

A female artist also anonymously admitted to having to destroy her own paintings, going into the details of how much more danger she and other female artists are in. This is especially true since she specializes in painting women.

Many Afghan artists are trying to stay positive and resume classes within home settings, but the future is uncertain, and the Taliban’s promises aren’t worth holding onto.

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