About ArtLords

Our Story

Founded in 2014 in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan, ArtLords emerged as a grassroots movement of artists and volunteers, driven by the desire to harness the transformative power of art. Our story began with a bold vision: to use the blank walls of Kabul as canvases to paint messages of peace, hope, and social change.

As Afghanistan’s first organization to start mural painting in Kabul, we have transformed the city’s landscape, turning somber blast walls into vibrant expressions of community voice and resilience.From our initial projects addressing social issues, ArtLords has grown into a global movement, reaching all 34 provinces of Afghanistan and beyond. Our murals, often a reflection of the collective Afghan experience, have become symbols of the country’s unyielding spirit and desire for a harmonious future. We’ve marked significant milestones along the way – from our award-winning ‘I See You’ anti-corruption campaign to our international exhibitions and peace-building initiatives.

As we continue to grow, our commitment remains steadfast: to empower voices through art and create dialogues that lead to societal transformation.

Our Vision

Our vision extends beyond borders, aspiring for a world where peace reigns supreme, and every individual is valued and treated with equality, transcending gender, ethnicity, or religious affiliations. In this world, freedom and democracy are not just ideals, but the bedrock of society, ensuring that every voice is heard and every life is cherished. We champion the universal language of art as a powerful catalyst for healing, unity, and inspiration—empowering the silenced voices and mirroring the societal challenges that sculpt our global community. Through our endeavors, we aim to ignite a global dialogue that fosters understanding, respect, and the unwavering pursuit of freedom and democratic values. This is the essence of our vision: to harness the transformative power of art in building a future where peace, freedom, and democracy flourish in every corner of the world.

Our Mission

Our mission extends beyond the mere creation of art; it encompasses sparking meaningful conversations, challenging prevailing norms, and building a future where cultural diversity, transparency, and tolerance are not just celebrated but are foundational pillars of freedom and democracy. Through our murals, workshops, and community engagements, we aim to foster both psychological and social transformations that pave the way for lasting peace and democratic governance. We believe in the power of art to enlighten minds and empower individuals, encouraging a deeper understanding and appreciation for the values of freedom and democracy. In doing so, we strive to create an inclusive society where every voice is valued, every perspective is respected, and every individual can contribute to shaping a more just and equitable world.

Watch ArtLords flagship campaign to promote empathy, critical thinking and inclusive peace throughout Afghanistan focused on young Afghans.

✾ Artivist, Co-Founder & CEO

Omaid Sharifi


Omaid Sharifi is an artivist and President of ArtLords — a collective of self-styled artivists who create street art in Afghanistan and worldwide.  A former fellow at Harvard University, Omaid is a board member of CIVICUS, a worldwide alliance that focuses on strengthening citizen action and civil society. With a career spanning over 19 years, he has demonstrated exceptional skill in planning, designing, and implementing a wide range of projects not only in Afghanistan and South Asia but also in various other international locations. His commitment to the arts and civil society is evident through his extensive involvement and leadership.

Connect with Omaid:

✾ Artivist, Co-Founder & Creative Director

Kabir Mokamel


Kabir Mokamel, a visionary Co-Founder and the Creative Director at ArtLords, brings over three decades of rich experience in the creative sector. His multifaceted career encompasses roles as a curator and creative director, spearheading an array of distinguished projects including Kabul Street, Kuchi Film, and the impactful I See You campaign. Mr. Mokamel’s artistic contributions have gained international recognition, with his work being showcased in prominent cities such as Canberra, Montreal, Washington D.C., Berlin, Colombo, Lahore, and Kabul. Prior to his pivotal role at ArtLords, he has made significant strides as the Creative Manager for the Australian National University, CETENA Group, and Lapis Strategic Communications, demonstrating a profound commitment to leveraging art and creativity for societal transformation.

ArtLords Kabul Team

ArtLords boasts a dedicated cadre of 25 artivists stationed in Afghanistan, led by Razeq M., diligently working to harness the transformative power of art. This dynamic team orchestrates mentorship programs specifically tailored for female artists, oversees the operation of studios, and undertakes the critical tasks of documenting and preserving history through artistic expression. In a powerful stand against violent extremism and radicalization, they employ art as a potent tool for peace and understanding.

Mindful of the paramount importance of safety and security for both staff and artists, ArtLords maintains a strict policy of confidentiality regarding their pictures and locations.

ArtLords Team in Islamabad, Pakistan

ArtLords is represented in Islamabad, Pakistan, by a dedicated team of five members. Led by Khushal H. This dynamic group operates an art training studio and offers art therapy sessions specifically designed for Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan. Through these initiatives, they provide a supportive environment that nurtures creativity and offers therapeutic benefits, fostering a sense of healing and community among the refugees.

ArtLords Team in Canada

The ArtLords team in Canada led by Ahmad Yama Farhad and Abdul Hakim Maqsody is at the forefront of organizing exhibitions and events in collaboration with leading museums and galleries. Through these initiatives, they showcase a diverse array of artistic talents, connecting audiences with contemporary art movements and cultural dialogues. Their efforts serve to elevate the profile of artists and foster a greater appreciation for the arts within the community.

ArtLords Fundraising and Advocacy Office, Virginia, United States

ArtLords operates a specialized advocacy and fundraising office located in Virginia, United States, under the leadership of the ArtLords President and CEO. This office plays a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s mission, orchestrating campaigns, and securing resources necessary to support and expand ArtLords’ global initiatives. Through strategic leadership and a commitment to the organization’s core values, this office is essential in promoting ArtLords’ impact both domestically and internationally.

ArtLords Team in Vermont and Boston, United States

ArtLords boasts a vibrant team of six artists in Vermont and Boston, Negina Azimi, Abdullah Khan, Meetra Khamosh, Zuhra Nadem, Marwa Safa Azimi and Fatima Wojohat, who are deeply engaged in enriching their communities. This enthusiastic group leads the charge in organizing exhibitions, creating public mural paintings, and hosting town hall meetings. Through these initiatives, they actively contribute to the cultural landscape, fostering community engagement and dialogue through the power of art. Their work not only beautifies public spaces but also serves as a catalyst for social connection and conversation.

Empower Our Journey: Bringing Art to the Heart of Communities

Your support is the cornerstone of our global mission to harness the transformative power of art to foster peace and equity across continents. We invite you to join our movement—whether through donations, volunteering your time, or amplifying our message on social media. Together, we can craft a future brimming with hope and revolutionary change, painting broad strokes of progress and unity on the canvas of the world.

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