Ahlam, the first female yemeni street-artist

Ahlam breathes through art. Her work is a reflection of her life and the world that surrounds her. 

While growing up in Yemen, Ahlam felt an urge to speak out against the inequalities women were facing in their day to day lives. In order to make herself heard she chose the platform with the best impact for her audience – the sand-coloured walls that line the streets for Sana’a. As a street-artist she developed a following that eventually turned into a group of fellow artists that joined her. As a group they expanded their message to criticizing the growing conflict that has since engulfed the country. 

As her situation and the stability of her surroundings changed, so did Ahlam’s canvas. The stable walls that framed the ridged streets no longer represented her unstable world. She took to creating art on whatever canvas was available to her, plastic, paper, cardboard – pieces that are transitory and can be uprooted in an instant. 

Today as an art student at the Université des Beaux Arts in Paris, Ahlam is continuously exploring new forms of art as she pushes herself to find a space in French society. As a Catalyst with PLACE, she is exploring how to best share her story to inspire other woman to raise their voices against inequality through art.

You can cross the path of Ahlam at her current art exhibit at the Festival Visions d’Exil 2019 until November 30th, 2019 and follow her artistic journey as it develops on her instagram @ahlam.jarban