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Afghan artists traveling mural makes stop at Indianapolis Artsgarden

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A traveling mural created by Afghan artists at Camp Atterbury is continuing it’s journey at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. It’s been over a year since thousands evacuated Afghanistan, but the story is far from over. Organizers say this mural paints a picture of resilience.

During what was likely one of the worst periods of their lives, 59 artists at Camp Atterbury created the mural. This traveling mural they say is a chance to shine light on what’s still happening and what’s next for Afghans who’ve resettled in the states.

During tragedy, there’s often a sense of darkness, and with the gloom from a forced evacuation, some choose to find the light in places like this traveling mural exhibit.

“Starting to draw the mural was actually one of the things that helped me get through all of those difficult times,” artist Zainab Ahmad in a virtual interview said.

This colorful canvas helped breathe a bit of light into a few Afghan refugees living at Camp Atterbury.

“Since we were evacuated from the Kabul airport, we were in a really difficult situation. We were worried about what is going to happen for us,” artist Fawzia Abdaly said.

Tiffany Black volunteered at the camp. She provided a type of artistic relief, while helping the artist put the mural together.

“The mural tells a symbolic story of their collective journey coming here,” Black said.

The mural is painted but the project isn’t done. It’s on a new journey to tell their stories, but also push for support.

“We’re also pushing for the support of the Afghan Adjustment Act because even though they were welcomed into the U.S., they’re only here on temporary status for two years. Their futures are still uncertain,” Black said.

Once Afghan families are resettled, they are generally provided 90 days of support. Once that runs out, families still often struggle, l eading Najia Sherzad Hoshmand to form the Afghan American Community center.

“Our main objective for this organization is to help and support the Afghan families post resettlement,” she said.

She and others are circulating a petition to get the act passed as families look for a legal pathway to permanent residency.

The mural will be on display at the Artsgarden through December 9th.