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In 2023, AFI commissioned Jahan Ara Rafi to design five original works for our report “Artistic Exodus”. In an ode to the experiences of suppression and forced migration affecting Afghan women under the Taliban, Jahan centered “Vortex” on a female figure with a contorted neck and closed eyes, symbolizing the process of Afghan women sinking into themselves under suppressive structures and in degrading circumstances. Rafi paints in deep crepuscular shades of red, gold, blues, and purples to evoke the twilight hour following a sunset, a symbol of the shrinking horizons of Afghan women under Taliban rule.

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