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Alina Gawhary got her safe passage from Afghanistan to Bangladesh on March 5, 2023, with the help of music composer Sadie Harrison.

A process that took a year and a half.

We welcome Alina and Sadie to Belfast, who will join Professor Brandon Hamber in a public discussion about Alina's journey and her artwork.

Writing about herself Alina has said:

“I am a professional artist and amateur musician from Afghanistan.

I have spent my whole life with fear, stress and just for being a girl and an artist. My everyday life has its own sad story that made me an artist which helped to shelter art and tell stories and reality through my art.

I was born in 2004 in Kabul province and in a big family, have five sisters, two brothers and now currently living in Bangladesh. My life totally changed when the regime came back into power and stole my dreams and made my home a prison. I was painting the beauty and reality in secret.

Most subjects of my paintings are music instruments as the situation didn’t let me play music. I wanted to show my interest through my paintings.

The only thing I can do as an artist for my country and my family is to show beauty, unheard voices and beauty of music. I use my brushes as a weapon in front of the sad things which are happening in my country.

I was one of the lucky young women and got out of Afghanistan with a scholarship to a university in Bangladesh. My paintings through Darren (Beyond Skin) and friends are being sold to people around the word which is very exciting for me”.

Tea and coffee served from 5.30pm , event starts 6pm.

Event info

This event has ended

Friday 8 March

5.30pm to 7.30pm

BA-00-021, Birley Building

Ulster University

Photography and Video at event