Mahsa Falah, an artist and writer from Afghanistan, is currently an Artists at Risk (AR)-Resident at Moosdorf Korrektiv e.V. in Berlin, Germany. During her stay in Berlin, Falah is writing a novel about how an Afghan girl, whose dreams have been violated, continues her life. She is also working on two contemporary conceptual works and various paintings.
In 2018, Falah and her sister, also an artist, founded the MN Fine Art Cottage gallery for artistic activities, including teaching art and holding exhibitions, in Herat, Afghanistan. The MN Fine Art Cottage gallery was active until a week before the Taliban returned, when students stopped arriving. She has also taught painting as a volunteer in the Raha Charity Foundation for street children and been a member of the Herat Civil Society, where she taught workshops for women’s capacity building.
In 2021, Falah held an exhibition entitled “your Smile is my dream” at the National Library of Herat and was nominated for the award 100 Successful Women by the Creative and Capacity Building Programme. Prior to this, she won an award from the National Peace Poetry and Art Festival organised by Shayan Media Services. She has also conducted research on the role of women in household incomes in Afghanistan.
Falah began painting 11 years ago because, she realised, her words were not being heard, though she repeated them incessantly. Painting was a better medium by which to express herself and communicate with others.
Falah graduated with a degree in Economics and Management from Asia University and gained another degree from the Accounting and Administration Institute, but, with the return of the Taliban and as a woman, she was barred from participating in both art and the field of economics. Afghan women and girls are the most disadvantaged group in Afghanistan, Falah stresses.
After escaping Afghanistan, Mahsa Falah has been an Artists at Risk (AR)-Resident at the AR-Moosdorf Korrektiv e.V. Residency in Berlin, Germany, which is co–funded by the Crespo Foundation and co-organised by Perpetuum Mobile (PM) as part of the AR-Network. The AR-Network is coordinated by the AR-Secretariat, which is funded by the Swedish Arts Council’s Programme for Artistic Freedom and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland’s Centre for Peace Mediation.