TED08/09/2012By [Printer Friendly Version]
Afghan-American artist Aman Mojadidi calls himself “Afghan by blood, redneck by the grace of god.” Playing off his two identities, the TED Fellow's bold, funny, thought-provoking artwork explores jihad, gangsterism, consumers and corruption in modern Afghanistan.
Aman Mojadidi makes bold art from his two identities -- as an American and an Afghan.
Why you should listen to him:
Aman Mojadidi, a self-described “Afghan by blood and redneck by the grace of God,” arrived in Afghanistan “as a 19-year-old vegetarian surfer from Jacksonville, Florida.” Growing up in the American south, he has now lived in Kabul for the last nine years, making artwork that explores what he calls “the geography of self” – including photos featuring himself as characters exploding cultural taboos (“a day in the life of a jihadi gangster”), and films of himself stopping cars at checkpoints and, instead of accepting a bribe, offering money. His work explores the nature of identity while challenging stereotypes, exposing hypocrisy, reinterpreting reality – even though his work may be dangerous or misunderstood. “I do it because the geography of self mandates it. That’s my burden. What’s yours?”