Women & art: Helping women in Afghanistan create art and gain the tools to stay creative

Meet three women: Nasima Zada, Maya Holm, and the Levelbred Collective’s Natalie Proctor who are not only building bridges through their art; they are supporting the women of Afghanistan, and inspiring them to create art.

Nasima is very passionate about empowering women in Afghanistan, and is working as a full-time advocate, and an accelerator for local artists.

“I was not blessed with a college education. I have grown in Afghanistan and have the whole world in front of me. I’m a veteran. I came back to my country, a worldly woman who knows about peace, understanding, and shows women how they can do so many things in their future.”

“I used to work in IT in hermetically sealed buildings as well. And in those working conditions, I discovered one specific value; I would see all the secrets that had not been shared with me for so long. From that, my curiosity gained strength. Being an emerging advocate for the women of Afghanistan, it became my mission to go back home and share them with the world. I saw children crying, moms giving birth and building a beautiful life back in Afghanistan. They were seeking a simple life, hope and love,” shared Nasima.

Maya is an Italian-American sculptor, who is closely connected to the artists and designers of Philadelphia. She has traveled to Afghanistan several times, and hopes to live a very “Brioche-specific” life to meet and converse with the future generations of Afghan women.

“I am not only an artist, but also a producer of independent documentaries. I started a production company to produce documentaries and currently the platform is encouraging companies and individuals to produce original stories for domestic and foreign markets,” shares Maya.

Natalie is the owner of Levelbred Collective, a creative and art-based startup that designs custom furniture. She is currently publishing stories and poems written by Afghan women through her brand, by Natalie. “One woman wrote, ‘Children cry for their father; they grieve when they see him. They will never forgive you, but I understand you and I will forgive you.’”

The Levelbred Collective is hoping to spread inspiration through one of the world’s greatest supply routes: Afghanistan.

Please take a moment to read more stories from CNN Women’s Lifestyle and join their #SupportAfghanWomen initiative.

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