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Two Women Are Trying To Combat Gender Violence Through These Beautiful Murals

The project is uniting countries and the forgotten communities living in them.

1. An Indian designer and a Pakistani women’s rights activist have teamed up to bring marginalized Pakistani communities together via art.

2. Nida Mushtaq, a sexual rights campaigner based in Pakistan, contacted Shilo Shiv Suleman, founder of community art project The Fearless Collective, after seeing the collective’s work. Suleman was invited to visit Pakistan and bring her murals with her.

3. The Fearless Collective was started by Suleman in 2012. The project aims to create a narrative about gender violence and marginalized communities through the arts.

4. Suleman travelled to Pakistan, a dangerous journey considering the country’s difficult history with India.

Aamir Qureshi / AFP / Getty Images

5. Suleman and Mushtaq travelled across the country for two weeks, meeting communities, and helping them create murals to represent their unique cultures.

Shilo Shiv Suleman

6. In Lahore, the women worked with local artists around the idea of inheritance, what kinds of fears we inherit from those before us.

Shilo Shiv Suleman

The mural reads, “What will people say?’ We are the people, what will we say?”

7. Near Islamabad, in Rawalpindi, the women worked with the local transgender community and trans rights organization Wajood.

Shilo Shiv Suleman

8. For the mural, Wajood founder and transgender woman Bubbli Malik was portrayed riding a motorcycle, an unusual practice for women in Pakistan.

Shilo Shiv Suleman

9. The pair also visited Lyari, Karachi — an area known for intense drug-related violence. They created a series of murals there based on play and games as a method of combating fear and violence.

Shilo Shiv Suleman

The word ballon in the mural reads, “the players of life,” a sarcastic comment on what it feels like to live in Lyari.

10. Suleman told BuzzFeed News about the challenges the group faced when attempting the project — she explained that in Lahore, they lost their proposed site. So instead, they illegally painted on a wall of the national bank of Pakistan.

Shilo Shiv Suleman

11. However, the owner of the national bank ended up loving their work on his building. Not only that, local soldiers offered their assistance, and locals provided paint, ladders, and brushes.

Shilo Shiv Suleman

12. “Most of these people had never painted in their life — young girls in full hijab coming to help,” Suleman said.

Shilo Shiv Suleman

13. Now, Suleman plans to expand The Fearless Collective across the world to Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and Syrian Refugee camps.

Shilo Shiv Suleman

14. “The Western perception that graffiti is anti community - here, any public art is a community service” she says, “it’s always created by the community and gives them good sense of ownership.”

Shilo Shiv Suleman

15. “We’ve been getting phone calls,” she said “People are still taking care of the murals and are asking for help to keep them maintained.”

Shilo Shiv Suleman

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London. Contact this reporter at: rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com
Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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