Powerlessness, poverty and illiteracy are the main source of exploiting a woman, raping her esteem and forcing her to be a victim into oblivion of destruction and stolen human right to dignity. Unless, she is introduced to develop her skills and educate herself, encouraged to form decisions. It is important to train and empower women to be independent thinkers, equitable, expand and cultivate - financially, intellectually and creatively. I believe empowering women is to examine the implicit assumption, of not only woman's biological inferiority, but of a connection between immanence, corporeality and inferiority -- to delve into the root of woman's oppression (her biology). We must strive to eliminate orthodox disposition on devaluing a woman or encouraging the putrid notion of treating women as singular entities, perpetuating the values that have been constructed by male-dominated culture that devalues women and her attributes.

Women, whether in the valleys of Northern Areas of Pakistan or in the grasslands of Africa, or in the vast landscape of South America and in the narrow slum streets of Bombay, there is a voyeuristic pictorial, viewed and cached in a file. We need to etch the forgotten images in our minds and we must not rest until the forgotten women rise and walk beside us.

Poverty is a great injustice to human life -- especially to women, who are starving the most. They are living in a perpetual poverty, silently watching her children plagued by malaria, AIDS, Hepatitis C, tuberculosis, poor sanitation, scarce drinking water and death from malnutrition. It is important to synergize with development professionals, journalists, community health workers, artists, environmentalists etc to strengthen awareness to putting a priority on prevention and implementing policies to eradicate poverty.

We can only eradicate poverty if we collectively aspire to build integration with global community in creating platforms and executing endeavors to make a difference by fighting corruption and promoting integrity, national dialogue and reconciliation in all countries emerging from conflict, where women are victims and live in pockets of poverty.

Considering all such facts, and being an artist myself, I realized the power of art and explored the impact it can create on any society. Art, in many forms, is its voice. Art can make us cringe or delight us. Whether it is the abstract paintings, guitar music or a Shakespearean soliloquy, art surround us, informs us and leads us into inner worlds, the “undiscovered country.”

What speaks to you, what holds you in rapture, what excites you, what takes your breath away — this is the language of art.

Art is a powerful healing tool that is being used within many communities in crisis, whether people are battling a natural disaster or struggling with the aftermath of war.

How many times during the day do you turn on music? Does it soothe the savage beast within you? Of course it does. What about a painting or sculpture or an extraordinary photograph? Yes, it’s the same healing effect, and it’s all about what moves you. But guess what? It moved the creator of that art first. As art unfolds, sensitivity of human mind can recognize the depth and beauty of any creativity.

Painting takes me to a journey to the center of human struggle and the dark heart of history. I believe in personal storytelling which can transport us back to the intense moments of past events. I strongly believe that the Power of Art is the epic story of an unfolding force, a chance to witness the power of the individuals who changed the way we view the world.

I understand those artists who worked for social cause. I understand their commitment to their art, their drive to express themselves, and I understand their courage. It’s a cold world out there sometimes, but it would be even colder if it weren’t for artists down through the ages who sacrificed time, money and sometimes their lives, in spite of dark times, for their art.

My art carries the same spirit, to bring awareness. I am a painter and have a registered organization by the name of Studio De Peinture. This is basically my private art studio where I work without any restraints that most artists feel while working with any commercial art gallery. Hence the image portrayed by my art is not manipulative but that of communicative nature.

My art is an endeavor to bring to light social and political issues that I have deemed important. I seek to promote thought, interest, and passion for a variety of diverse social issues and to inform others and incite change through my art.

My art is opinionated, and anything you see in my paintings, will have a definite message, not merely eye-candy. However, as an artist, I am incredibly aware of the value of aesthetics and form, which goes hand-in-hand with content, so everything you look at will not only be meaningful, it will be attractive to the eye as well.

As an artist with a definite social message, I also put an extremely high value on feedback and discussion, and as such, visitors to my art studio, websites and the art galleries where my art is displayed, are encouraged to talk about and even argue with what they might see in my work.With many perspectives, using different artistic tools, I attempt to explain and show the importance of social, civil, and political activity.

Born and raised in Pakistan, I have witnessed atrocities faced by women in a patriarchal society, where the worth of a woman is measured mostly by her husband's views and societal standings, often proscribes women to voice their thoughts. I chose to pursue a career in Art, as visual art is my preferred medium of incepting dialogue, protesting the tyranny, examining challenges and igniting a strong vision to eradicate social oppression of women and transcend liberal approach to dignity and create value. The hours spent in my atelier, Studio de Peinture, is a thorough examination of the inner climate that speaks to me, holds me rapture, oscillates between excitement and deliverance of raw emotions. My work is about women. I can feel their pain and agony as well as their struggle to achieve peace in the surroundings and with themselves. I paint to give voice to the sealed lips, to reveal the perpetrators and to unearth the desires and aspirations of a woman which have been buried under a great social burden. Hence I call it ‘Saddiyoun Kee Daastaan,’ -- ‘A Tale of Centuries’.

Recent series 'Emblazoned Reflections' stimulates a theme of domestic violence. Most beautiful creation on earth, a woman, is sacrificed every day, her color remains invisible, her sensuality is commercialized, her talents are labeled, her emotions are crushed and reshaped according to patriarchy, her work goes unnoticed as do her contributions. I feel obsessed to celebrate her, to celebrate her talent, her sensuality, her sensitivity and her self esteem. A woman who is killed in the name of honor, I celebrate her honor. A woman who is pushed in streets with head shaven off, for karokaari, I celebrate her courage. A woman who raises children with love and care but never raises her voice for her own aspirations in life, I celebrate her patience. A woman who surpasses men in strength and success, I celebrate her spirit.

My art is dedicated to ignite changes in tyrannical governance and the failure to reach out to the rural and destitute women who have been silenced and marginalized. I refuse to be a spectator. I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend -- but most of all, I am a woman --who paints women on her canvas, every painting is a story witnessed, lived.

There are numerous issues compelling me to paint, and each one seems more important than the other. I painted ‘If I was never born mum?’ to highlight the female genocide issue. ‘Ankahi’ is about the whispers behind closed doors. ‘A Silent Life’ is to question the gender inequality, starting right from birth. There are numerous others, Un Cont d’ Emotions, Dopatta, And The Curtain, Pandemonium, Above and Beyond – and the journey continues with titled and untitled works.

I have to mention here that there are no success stories attached to my studio. My painting is a journey and a story is being created out of these intricate emotions, strength of thought and a web of small triumphs. I think that approach satisfies me more.

To review my work please click on the following links:

Studio De Peinture www.studiodepeinture.com

Photostream on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/faizaayub

Faiza Khan

Comment on this Post


Hello Faiza,

Thanks for sharing your art work with us, and your rationale behind it. You have captured some very powerful images and ideas. Art indeed can be a powerful tool for healing, awareness raising, story telling, and social change.

Best wishes on your journey,


Hi Faiza,

Thank you for sharing your amazing work with us. The color is truly astounding! I am also inspired by the power of art to move us and compel us to consider social issues we otherwise don't like to think about, and I wish you the best in everything you do.

Be well,

Michelle World Pulse Technology Associate