Hi! I'm Zahira, the creative mind behind Rasm Print Creations. I'm a mother, an artist, an activist, a published illustrator and a visionary. The word “rasm” in Dari (one of the official languages of Afghanistan) translates to “draw” because I hand draw everything and Afghanistan is my motherland. By including a word from my mother tongue that may be difficult to pronounce for some, I invite consumers of my art to experience the space between "here" and "there", between West and East that I occupy as an immigrant or Afghan diaspora on unceded and unsurrendered Anishinaabe Algonquin territory (Ottawa, Canada).
Art has been a long-time passion for as long as I can remember. However, it wasn't until January 2021 that I began my career in art. I hold a BA Honours in Political Science, BA Honours in Women's and Gender Studies, and a Master of Arts. My areas of research centered around de-colonial and intersectional feminism, Orientalism and the focused on the ways in which stereotypes about the Middle East and Central Asia are deeply problematic and utilized to reinforce power hierarchies in Western society.
My passion for these topics have translated into common themes in my art. As a woman of colour whose culture, race and faith have often been misrepresented in mainstream media and pop culture, I understand first-hand the significance of accurate cultural and ethnic visual representation. I believe that diversity in illustrations can be a powerful tool to deconstruct racial stereotypes. By combining my educational background and passion for art, I am able to offer a means to make an unforgettable and powerful visual statement.
At the core of Rasm Print Creations is the aim of using art as a tool to celebrate diversity while educating viewers about cultures that are portrayed in a singular and often negative light in mainstream media. Art can be revolutionary in changing the way we talk and think about diversity. I'm here to show you how.