Talking Points: Shaheen Ahmed

A collection of imagery and sources designed to stimulate conversation around the work of Shaheen Ahmed.

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Shaheen Ahmed

Persia by Shaheen Ahmed

Primordial Sanctuary by Shaheen Ahmed

“When countries are at war, when people are suffering, that is the time to reach out. The very least we should do is empathise.”

“Craftivist” Shaheen Ahmed lives and works in the West Midlands where she manipulates maps and paper using Kirigami to connect her passion for Islamic art, and exploration of social justice.

The concept of empathy is central to Shaheen’s work. Her manipulation of maps, over-writing with pattern and marks, is Shaheen’s way of commenting upon and mending the destruction and fear caused by boundaries and borders. The meditative actions she performs become Shaheen’s blessings outwards for a better world. 


Q&A with Shaheen Ahmed by New Art West Midlands

Mapping Empathy by Shaheen Ahmed

Craft Council Exhibition


Primordial Sanctuary by Shaheen Ahmed

Primordial Sanctuary by Shaheen Ahmed

Primordial Sanctuary Series by Shaheen Ahmed

Persia by Shaheen Ahmed

Questions to Ask Children

Look carefully at Shaheen’s artwork. How would you describe it to someone who couldn’t see it?

Do you think the processes Shaheen uses and the final outcome contribute to Shaheen’s wellbeing?

How do you feel when you look at the artwork? Are you thinking about the painstaking processes Shaheen uses, or the final outcome? Or are you thinking about the people in the places she makes art about? Or something else? 

Shaheen describes herself as a “Craftivist”. What do you think that means?

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