Welcome | Manda Nabashee

Azad means liberation in Indo-Iranian languages like Persian, Kurdish, Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. It is also used in Armenian.

Visual Poetry

Words are containers for emotion. I experiment with them visually—letters become shapes and lose their meaning. As an immigrant in this country I know how it feels to be excluded and isolated from public dialogue and spaces. I want my art to speak to many people; English readers, Farsi readers and those who cannot read. Experiencing the work is enough. I make this work thinking about my parents and my own early experiences of arriving to a new country. I want to offer tactile experiences for those who are left out of a dominant language and culture.

My themes of love and longing are based in Persian poetry, mantras of compassion are based in Buddhist philosophy and my screenprinting approach is a shout out to Sister Mary Corita Kent.

War On Terror

I explore a war without a physical enemy—a war where the enemy is a psychological state of fear. This work began after 9/11/2001. I began clipping pictures from popular newspapers and collecting them. I saw landscapes and people who looked familiar to me. I saw countless soldiers so heavily armed you could not make out their individual characteristics. I understood that this imagery was produced to instill fear and hatred in an imagined “American people” so that bombing other countries would be an acceptable retaliation. As an Afghan-American I don’t see it this way. My family escaped war in Afghanistan. We came here as refugees in 1984 to build a new life. I feared that my native country would be bombed and more innocent people would be killed.

In this work I interpret the popular media images through my lens and show the plurality of American people and experience.

Please contact me using the form below if you have any questions, comments or inquiries.