Lida Abdul: visual artist, Afghanistan (b. 1973, Kabul) Lida Abdul has been selected as a 2006 Prince Claus laureate for the compelling images and poetic language of her visual production. She expresses contemporary Afghani culture through a feminine aesthetic of rebuilding and reconstruction in the aftermath of war and destruction. Born in Kabul in 1973, she was forced to flee her country and lived in asylum centres for five years before moving to the USA where she studied art. Lida Abdul uses diverse media including video, film, photography, installation and live performance to explore and visualise globally relevant issues of ‘home’ and identity. Her works create spaces for the interrogation of inherited and acquired identities, look at the ravages of disaster and war, the transformation and resilience of the individual and society, and give voice to silenced histories and acts of endurance. Using the reality of modern conflict, she creates unusual images in works such as ‘My City has No Monuments’, the ‘Nomadic House’ series and ‘Painting the Ruins of Kabul’. In her work entitled ‘White House’, we see the ruins of a bombed village in an arid landscape, and follow a woman with a pot of paint and a brush, who whitewashes everything that is still standing. This is the artist’s “J’accuse”, the creation of a guilty landscape where the pearly white ruins shriek their indictment so eloquently: Stop the senseless destruction and obliteration of people and their culture!