In Hafiz in diaspora (illustrated) Amin Taasha has used sheets from a book of poetry by Hafiz (Persia c.1315–90) to render symbols and motifs from his own life and the history and mythology of Afghanistan and Central Asia. These include illustrations of the Gandharan Buddhist–style imagery that Bamiyan was known for; ammunition and weaponry of the Taliban; mythological characters; and historical symbols. Taasha is part of the Persian-speaking Hazara community of central Afghanistan, but moved abroad after his work was targeted by authorities. For Taasha, the complexity of Hafiz’s poetry — known to comment on religious, political or personal hypocrisy — bears great relevance to his own experiences and memories of his homeland, including a childhood playing around the Bamiyan Buddhas before they were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
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