Credit:Iga Drobisz
Credit:Iga Drobisz


Moshtari Hilal is a visual artist living in Hamburg and Berlin, who has devoted herself to the artistic path of analogue drawing. Her work is shaped by the (self)portrait and family archive, with special interest in black hair and big noses. 


In her work Hilal aims for a visual language that is shaped by the subjective. Consequently, the artist works with the drawn line as a means and symbol of a figurative vocabulary that refers to the black-haired body. In addition, her portraits deal with recurring motifs, such as the prominent nose, the figure of the mother or the family archive. Hilal is interested in the representation of beauty and intimacy that goes beyond normative and dominant visual habits. She strives to create tender images of faces and bodies that are usually stigmatised and embarrassed. Hilal's process involves working with the personal archive, as well as doing academic research and engaging in public debates. She describes her current artistic practice as reconciliation with shame and negated beauty.


Moshtari Hilal studied Islamic Studies and Political Science in Hamburg, Amman, Berlin and London, focusing on gender and decolonial theory. She has exhibited her drawings worldwide since the age of 19, including in Kabul, New Jersey, Hanover, Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Gothenburg, Tehran, Sopot, Barcelona, London and Beirut. Among these have been her solo exhibitions in Hamburg at Âme Nue (Dec.-Jan. 2020) and in the Galerie 21 (April 2018), in London at the Goldsmith University of Fine Arts (Oct. 2018) and her exhibitions "The Black Haired Bomb" (Aug. 2019) and "The Girl with the Moustache" (Nov. - Jan. 2016) in Berlin. Hilal has also shown her work in group exhibitions at the Sopot National Gallery of Art in Poland (2018), the Tehran-Niavaran complex in Iran (2017), the Museum del Disseny in Barcelona (2017), the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin (2017), the Institute Francais in Kabul (2012) and in Hamburg (2019). From July to September 2017 Moshtari Hilal was a fellow at the Swedish artists' residence Konstepidemin Gothenburg. Most recently, she was invited to the Beirut Design Week and as a guest lecturer at MARKK - Museum of the Arts and Cultures of the World in Hamburg, at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg and at the University of Bamberg. In addition to her artistic work, Hilal regularly is invited to speak on feminist and anti-racist issues in the visual economy of Europe in  grassroots organisations, universities and political foundations. Hilal is also co-founder of the international research collective AVAH (Afghan Visual Arts and History).






List of Selected Exhibitions and Artist Talks 




“The Warm Pillow was My Mother, The Blanket My Father”

12.12-17.01.2020 Hamburg, Germany 

Solo-Show at Âme Nue, Curated by Liberty Adrien 


“The Black Haired Bomb”

21.-23.08.2019 Berlin, Germany 

Solo-Show Commissioned by Pop-Kultur-Festival 


“BANAL – an exploration of everyday aesthetics”

27.10.-04.11.2018 London, UK

Solo-Show at Enclave Lab, Goldsmith University

Curated by Shirin Fathi and Kathy Cho


"The Angle of a Phallus is Equal to the Angle of a Nose" 

13.04- 14.04.2018 Hamburg, Germany 

Solo Show at Galerie 21, Vorwerk-Stift 


"The Girl with the Moustache" 

30.11.-30.01.2016 Berlin, Germany 

Solo-Show at Literary Colloquium



Artist Talks


“Unlearning Ugliness – About Artistic Practice and Colonial Seeing Habits” 

26.02.2020 Hamburg, Germany

Artist Talk at MARKK – Museum for the Arts and Cultures of the World 


“Drawing as Semi-Documental Sculpture”

05.11.2019 Hamburg, Germany 

Artist Talk at HfBK, University of Fine Arts 


"Creating Beyond the Collective Other"

25.07.2019 Bamberg, Germany

Artist Talk at the University of Bamberg, invited by Prof. Charlotte Bank






24.-27.04.2019 London, UK

Art Residency at Albany, Curated by Zahed Sultan 


 “Artists in Residence at Konstepidemin”

31. 07 -30. 09.2017 Gothenburg, Sweden

One of Two Selected IASPIS Scholarship Holders 

(International Artists Studio Programme)



Group Shows/Festivals 


"S T R U K T U R"

04.10 - 24.10.2020 Hamburg, Germany

Group Exhibition with Barbara Lüdde 

at Feinkunst Krüger 


“The Flowers of Evil” 

29.09 – 13.01.2019 Sopot, Poland

Group Exhibition at Sopot National Gallery of Art


“La Nuit de l’Instant c’est l’imagination au pouvoir” 

13.-14.09.2019 Marseille, France 

Group Exhibition at Centre Photographique Marseille


“When My Mother Entered My Work”

03.-07.07.2019 Beirut, Lebanon

On Display at Beirut Design Week 


“Long Night of Museums - la Nuit de l'Instant"

18.-19.05.2019 Hamburg, Germany

Group Exhibition at Institut Francais



15.-18.03.2018 Hamburg, Germany 

Group Exhibition at Affenfaust Gallery 


"Nachbild Kollektiv" 

04.3-10.3.2018 Cologne, Germany 

Group Exhibition at qlit*clgn Festival



02.-04.03.2018 Berlin, Germany 

Group Exhibition at Cosmonauts' Studio 



10.11.2017 Barcelona, Spain

Pop-Up Exhibition at Museum del Disseny, Curated by Van Van


"Nimrouz - The First Global Visual Arts Exhibition of Afghanistan”

03.- 17.11.2017 Tehran, Iran  

Group Exhibition at Niavaran, curated by Maryam Kuhestani


“South Asian Evocations and Becomings" 

27.10.2017 New York City, USA

Group Exhibition at China Town Soup, curated by


"Atelier Identity" 

26.05- 14.06.2017 Berlin, Germany 

Group Exhibition at Heinrich Böll Foundation 


"Empathy Won’t Save Us" 

08.09.2016 Hannover, Germany 

On Display at CLINCH - Postcolonial Festival 


"Art Amongst War: Visual Culture in Afghanistan 1979- 2014" 

05.03 - 17.04.2014 New Jersey, USA

Group Exhibition at TCNJ-Art Gallery, The College of New Jersey



Panel Discussions 


“Buna Hour/Arts of the Everyday – Postcolonial Poly Perspectives” 

06.12.2019 Berlin, Germany 

Panel Discussion at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Theater 


“Role of the Arts in (New) Forms of Grassroot Politics? “ 

16.11.2019 Berlin, Germany 

Panel Talk at the XartSplitta


“What We Left Unfinished” (Film Premiere by Mariam Ghani)

09.02.2019 Berlin, Germany 

Panel Discussion at Berlinale (Arsenal Cinema)


"Wish you were Queer - on aesthetics and politics” 

30.03.2017 Hamburg, Germany 

Discussion Presented by Moshtari Hilal, 

At Golem (Böll-Stiftung), Organized by Yesim Duman


"Kosmos Laboratory: Illustration and Visual Arts" 

07.03.2017 Berlin, Germany 

Artist Talk at Maxim-Gorki-Theater, hosted by Grada Kilomba  


"Before the Increase of Signs" 

23.02.2017 Hamburg, Germany 

Reading with Senthuran Varatharajah at W3 

Presented by Moshtari Hilal