Mural at Resolute Support gives servicemembers a peek at Kabul life
April 18, 2016
KABUL, Afghanistan — Servicemembers here rarely if ever see what life is like off base, but that’s set to change with the painting of a mural on a wall at NATO’s Resolute Support headquarters.
A group of Afghan street artists was invited to the headquarters Monday to paint a mural depicting a female Afghan police officer helping a veiled mother and her daughter.
“We are sort of acting like a bridge now between the compound and the outside world,” said Omaid Sharifi, a founder of the Art Lords group. “They barely have a chance to talk with locals — what they think, what they fear, what their opportunities are — so this for us is a chance to, in some way, educate them about our culture, about things happening outside.”
A group of artists started Art Lords in 2014 in order to beautify the many concrete blast walls in the capital. Monday, the artists joined with NATO servicemembers to paint one of the main walls of the headquarters.
Sharifi hopes his group will be able to paint more scenes of everyday Afghan life in the compound in the future.
“They deserve to talk with us and share our experiences and have a good impression of Afghans at the same time,” he said.
Resolute Support officials were given a list of mural subjects to choose from. They decided on a replica of a mural the Art Lords had already painted on a wall in Kabul city. The painting is the same except that the slogan — “Afghan female police a force for good” — is written in English instead of Dari.
NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Charles H. Cleveland was one of those who took up a brush.
“We will be better partners the more we understand about the city we’re living in and the people living in it, and what’s important to them,” he said.