Gali Weiss and Mahtob, 2018
Peace in my country
Barbara Kameniar and Afghan woman, name withheld, 2018
I wish to participate in the construction of my country.
Making Marks: Australia and Afghanistan is the second book to emerge from Unfolding Projects, a longitudinal international arts exchange project between a group of women artists in Australia, and women undertaking literacy and vocational classes at the Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women’s Capabilities (OPAWC) in Kabul.
The book documents the second art exchange which took up the medium of the handkerchief to create artworks that are diverse and yet also connected. Many of the ‘first marks’ on the handkerchiefs reflect the Australian artists’ relationship with, and connection to, place, nature and history. These themes are also reflected in the ‘second marks’ made by Afghan women whose relationship with, and connection to, their place and their history, resonates through each stitch and informs the hopes and dreams articulated in thread.
This exquisite book includes images of the artworks on handkerchiefs with statements from the Australian artists before the journey to Afghanistan, and full-page images of the artworks that returned changed and completed by the touch and thread of the Afghan artists and writers.
Making Marks also includes a number of short essays by Afghan and Australian writers. A number of the essays are in English and Dari.
The artworks, essays, hopes and dreams expressed in this book transcend time, space and politics to connect people at a deep level. The quality of the project itself, the artists, and the artworks have been recognized both nationally and internationally as a way of ’making a mark’ on the journey to justice for Afghan women and women everywhere.