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Afghan artist makes history with exhibit at Denver Art Museum

Hangama Amiri has become the first living Afghan to have her work on display in the museum

DENVER — An Afghan artist has achieved a milestone – being the first to feature her work at the Denver Art Museum.

Hangama Amiri has become the first Afghan artist to have her work on display at the museum. Her textile-based art is being displayed at the David B. Smith Gallery off of Wazee Street.

Amiri uses textiles to portray ideas of home, gender politics, and geopolitical social norms specifically related to Afghan women and their experiences. 

"All my work is based off of memories that I have of Afghanistan. They are not usually sad memories. They are always really celebratory, very happy memories and that is why pieces are so colorful as the result of that," said Amiri. 

One of the reasons she uses textiles is because it was the material she was able to get her hands on during her childhood. 

"Fabric holds a lot of memories. Fabric holds a smell and it also holds a certain fashion, certain history of time," she said. "It really relates to how we work with memories and fragmentation even." 

She hopes her artwork portrays hopeful images of Afghanistan. 

Amiri said, "For me, it’s really important to bring those ordinary voices that I have been and personal experiences, which tells a different history than what I’ve been grown up with diaspora communities."

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