The Gift Of Giving - Crossbody
One refugee woman (name withheld to protect identity) has refused to let her gender and circumstances define her. She won’t let young girls fester at home. She is often the guardian on schools trips and convinces parents to let their daughters go with her. She also takes them out for short excursions, such as to buy an ice-cream. These outings mean everything to the girls! “I wish I could hide them all in my burqa and run away with them. Our poor girls are always stuck at home. Always doing chores. They never get to have any fun. I want them to be happy. I didn’t have many choices when I was younger but I want better for them. If their parents don’t let me take them out, I cook for them. I love cooking.”
This artwork is based on one of a series of stories addressing agency, identity and representation from the perspective of Afghan refugee women and girls. It was developed as part of a pilot economic empowerment project delivered in partnership with the UNHCR in Karachi, Pakistan. The artworks unmask the lived experiences of a generation continuing to deal with the legacy of conflict and deprivation, where the capacity of traditional handworks to connect people with place, time, history and a sense of being is confirmed.