How Green Was My Valley, A Mixed-Media Paper Art Project

When a population is ravaged by war, and the only thing the rest of the world hear about them is war news and destruction, it’s hard to remember how many years of culture and art is laid behind the war-torn image of that country.

I started making this work with Afghanistan’s news in my head. When I was in the preliminary stages of making, the ancient Buddha sculpture was just exploded by the Taliban. At the same time, As an enthusiastic jewelry lover was looking for beautiful Afghan jewelry online, and that got me thinking. How a nation that can make such beautiful things, praying in dreamy mosques, eat artfully crafted delicious food, and make mindful poetry and centuries of literature can have such a horrific present. How much of hundred years of art and craft and literature will survive the horror of war and how much will be remembered in the eye of others?

I made this work thinking about the current situation of so many of the Middle-Eastern countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and to show my grief over art getting buried under the ignorance generated by years of war and poverty in the societies engaged in conflict. I also condemn war and imperialism, which changed the course of destiny of millions of people.