Art for Peace, Advocacy and Equality

A group of Afghan activist and artist who call themselves ArtLords are attempting to reclaim Kabul walls after years of war with paintbrushes. These human right activists want to introduce a different story from Kabul with a social movement. And they want to change the face of Kabul. ArtLords painters case show a strong tool with powerful messages like peace, education, equality for women, advocacy and awareness raising through their Art. The ArtLords have shown their work outside Afghanistan too.

According to Montreal Gazette News, the group took part in a recent Mural Festival which is an international public art festival held in Montreal, Canada as well as another festival in Berlin, Germany for celebrating the democratization of urban art. The Canadian June 18 exhibition featured 15 canvases showcasing paintings of ArtLords and Sharifi delivered a speech about the movement, its campaigns around Kabul and its citizen participation. “There was a lot of enthusiasm” for the project, he said.

Sharifi also participated in the 37th International Human Rights Training Program, a three-week program from Equitas to develop the capacity of more than 90 human-rights defenders from 45 countries to fight more effectively against discrimination, inequality, violence and extremism.

Montreal-based Equitas is a not-for-profit organization working for the advancement of equality and social justice. Participants in the program held on the campus of John Abbott College in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, included people from countries like Afghanistan, Haiti, Colombia and Nigeria. As a former Equitas participant in 2014, Sharifi was a program co-facilitator coaching the participants. “We really learn a lot of good techniques about how to educate people,” he said. “You are with human rights activists and educators. You share ideas and that is where the learning takes place.”

Extracts from: BBC News and Susan Schwartz Montreal Gazette.

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