Art Collection Showcases Brightness Even Under the Dark Clouds of Oppression.

One of the pieces on display in Women & Resistance, now showing in the PC Library

Join us in the Celebrating Women's History Month with a very special art exhibition in the PC Library. "Women & Resistance: Art as seen through the lens of oppression by Afghani Women" can be seen now through the end of March inside the PC Library.


Narrative by Dr. Elisa Queenan


In 2021, a dark cloud fell over Afghanistan as the Taliban regained power in the region. That return to power marked political upheaval and had an explosive effect on women's lives under the new regime.


Under this rule, strict interpretations of Islamic law were once again enforced, severely curtailing women's rights and opportunities. Centuries of hard-won freedoms were extinguished in the blink of an eye. The vibrant voices of women were forcibly silenced. Suddenly, women were figuratively, and in some cases literally, shackled, forbidden to move freely, to learn, to work.


The educational system suffered, as the Taliban imposed restrictions on girls' education at a certain age and limited the curriculum to align with their fundamentalist ideology. Co-educational institutions were closed, and female teachers who were once beacons of knowledge and empowerment were suddenly cast aside - facing grave challenges in continuing their profession.

The takeover had a chilling effect on the progress made in women's rights and education in the previous decades, leaving many women and girls with limited access to opportunities and the freedom to shape their destinies. Afghanistan is the only country in the world today to suspend girls' and women's access to education. The loss of education and employment essentially relegates women to paupers who can only survive at the will of men. Their only avenue for survival is abject subservience to these men who now control their every breath. Luckily, many of these women have found solace in the arts as they process their grief over losing their future and hope.


Education holds immense value in providing a voice for society's oppressed and voiceless. Education provides a platform for marginalized groups to amplify their voices, share their stories, and contribute to shaping societal narratives. Within the symphony of human experiences, every voice contributes a unique note, and when certain voices are suppressed, the entire composition loses its richness. When education is taken away from marginalized groups, it is the responsibility of others to fight for a space to elevate those stories and voices. We are here to facilitate that platform. We are here to give space for their stories to be told.


Through the resonance of these diverse voices, we hope to build a world where equity and compassion prevails over injustice and discrimination. History will remember this time. We want to know we fought to protect the vulnerable and provide a platform for the oppressed to advocate for themselves.


In honor of Women's Day, please take a moment of solidarity to enjoy the art and the stories of our sisters and mothers who have had their futures and hopes stripped away.


This amazing collection of art, created entirely by women under the current Taliban regime in Afghanistan, can be seen now through the end of the month at the Porterville College Library.