Although the world may recognise today as International Women’s Day, females around the world are working harder than ever, everyday, to #BreakTheBias. Arab women in particular, have arguably struggled more to reach gender equality, to open more doors for women and to strive for a more fruitful world for their daughters. Today, we shine the light on a few of the many Arab women that have empowered themselves by empowering others, and we’re glad to celebrate them as well as each other.
Adra Kandil is a Lebanese female visual artist based in Beirut, who has garnered over 35,000 followers on Instagram under the name Dear Nostalgia, because of her unique, playful and memorable artwork. Some may be used to using words to touch base on trending cultural and social topics, but Adra prefers to use her canvas.
What’s special about Adra’s work, is her cultural and socio-political references that are visible in almost every creation. She uses art as a form of self-expression, as well as to address issues that matter to her and are relatable to many.
From women’s rights to injustices in her home country of Lebanon, Adra is not afraid to use her digital brush strokes to convey a larger message that undeniably transcend through to many.
Her artwork is often vibrant, using pops of colour and a retro aesthetic, accompanied by the juxtaposition of modern typography which often mentions bold statements, or even a simple one-syllabled word that is enough to accurately convey her message. Take the below artwork for example: translated to ‘strength,’ Adra’s dedication to empowering women is clear.
According to Kandil, she describes her work as “a recollection of memories, creating visual letters to the past, present and future… A juxtaposition of vintage and present-day photographs that express and explore her relationship with home, childhood, and her constant search for identity as a woman.”
The visual artist received her Bachelor’s degree in creative advertising & branding at IED Barcelona, followed by a Master’s degree in innovation for design from Elisava Barcelona. Adra’s work has been showcased in exhibitions worldwide, from Beirut to California, Paris, Switzerland, New York, Amsterdam, Montreal, and Barcelona. The Lebanese creative has worked with multiple NGOs and has collaborated with several brands including Gucci, Chanel, Ounass, and Nour Hammour.
You can see more of Adra’s work on her Instagram account or by visiting her website.