Villa Serpentara Fellowship 2023

Moshtari Hilal

*1993, Kabul (AFG)

Lives in Hamburg and Berlin (DE) 

Instagram: @mooshtariii

Section: Visual Arts


Moshtari Hilal studied Middle Eastern studies and political science with a focus on culture, gender and decolonial studies in Hamburg, Berlin and London. She is co-founder of the collective Afghan Visual Arts and History and the research project Curating through Conflict with Care (nGbK 2022‒23). In addition to working in her preferred medium ‒ analogue drawing ‒ she generally regards her practice as interdisciplinary and process-oriented. Moshtari seeks to understand and disrupt power and persistent colonial attitudes. She understands her work as reconciliation with shame, negated beauty and ugliness.


In the context of my fellowship, I plan to deepen my previous work on the decolonial reconditioning of attitudes towards hair, ugliness, and the European concept of civilization played out on the surfaces of our bodies. Starting from my visual language, which consists of black lines as a reference to black hair, I intend to work with historical archival materials. Here I am particularly interested in early evolutionary discourse, how it shaped our attitudes towards hair and had an effect on the bodies of non-hegemonic subjects. I plan to create audiovisual work that includes drawings, collages, notations, and a video essay based on my research.