Credit: Florian Thoß
Credit: Florian Thoß

Moshtari Hilal is a visual artist, writer and curator based in Hamburg and Berlin.


Hilal studied Islamic Studies and Political Science with a focus on Gender and Decolonial Theory in Hamburg, Berlin and London. She is co-founder of the collective AVAH (Afghan Visual Arts and History) and the research project CCC (Curating Through Conflict with Care) as part of ngbk in Berlin. Together with political geographer Sinthujan Varatharajah, Hilal published September 2022 at Wirklichkeit Books the conversation book "English in Berlin - Exclusions in a Cosmopolitan Society". Varatharajah and Hilal were awarded the supporting price for critique by the Lessing Academy Wolfenbüttel for their joint work. Hilal is also one of four Villa Serpentara 2023 fellows awarded by the Young Academy of Arts in Berlin and hosted by the Villa Massimo in Rome. Hilal's essayistic debut "Hässlichkeit" (Ugliness) will be published by Hanser in September 2023.


With a particular interest in analog drawing and collage, Moshtari Hilal considers her overarching practice to be interdisciplinary and process-oriented. While her work begins with the personal and subjective as a resource and starting point, the process includes research, collaborative and collective practice, and the critical engagement and curatorial mediation with the public. Hilal describes her artistic practice as reconciling with shame and negated beauty, and seeks to understand and critique power and colonial continuities in visual culture. Her practice is informed by (self-)portraits and informal family archives, which she employs in eclectic ways in her search for a visual language.

Her work deals with recurring motifs, such as the prominent nose, black hair, the figure of the mother and unreliable childhood memories. Thus, the artist works with the drawn line as a means and symbol of a figurative vocabulary that refers to the black-haired body, as well as visual noise and low resolution, as a method to access precarious material. 


List of Selected Exhibitions and Artist Talks 

See here for upcoming and recent updates 




The Warm Pillow was My Mother, The Blanket My Father

12.12.-17.01.2020 Hamburg, Âme Nue


The Black Haired Bomb

21.-23.08.2019 Berlin, Pop-Kultur Festival


BANAL – an exploration of everyday aesthetics

27.10.-04.11.2018 London, Enclave Lab/Goldsmith University


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

13.04.-14.04.2018 Hamburg, Galerie 21/Vorwerk-Stiftung


Das Mädchen mit dem Damenbart

30.11.-30.01.2016 Berlin, Literarisches Kolloquium Berlin






Selbstähnlich (mit Cihan Cakmak) 02.06.-07.8.2022 Frankfurt, basis


STRUKTUR (mit Barbara Lüdde) 04.10.-24.10.2020 Hamburg, Feinkunst Krüger 








09.01.-06.02.2021 Paris, Galerie Derouillon


The Flowers of Evil

29.09.-13.01.2019 Sopot, Sopot National Gallery of Art


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

13.-14.09.2019 Marseille, Centre Photographique Marseille


When My Mother Entered My Work

03.-07.07.2019 Beirut, Beirut Design Week



15.-18.03.2018 Hamburg, Affenfaust Gallery



10.11.2017 Barcelona, Museu del Disseny


Nimrouz – The First Global Visual Arts Exhibition of Afghanistan

03.- 17.11.2017 Tehran, Niavaran-Complex


South Asian Evocations and Becomings

27.10.2017 New York City, China Town Soup


Atelier Identity

26.05- 14.06.2017 Berlin, Heinrich Böll Stiftung


Empathy Won’t Save Us

08.09.2016 Hannover, CLINCH Postcolonial Festival


Art Amongst War: Visual Culture in Afghanistan 1979-2014

05.03.-17.04.2014 New Jersey, TCNJ-Art Gallery Vorträge





   Lectures and Talks


Hässlichkeit Verlernen

07.09.2021 Osnabrück, VIELEN, Museumsquartier Osnabrück


Hässlichkeit Verlernen - Über künstlerische Praxis und koloniale Sehgewohnheiten

26.02.2020 Hamburg, MARKK


Zeichnen als Semi-dokumentarische Skulptur

05.11.2019 Hamburg, HfBK


Creating Beyond the Collective Other

25.07.2019 Bamberg, Symposium an der Universität Bamberg Residenz/Workshop







The Crack begins Within

Okt-Nov 2020 Berlin, Kurator*innen Workshop der Berlin Biennale 11



24.-27.04.2019 London, Albany


International Artists Studio Programme

31. 07 -30. 09.2017 Gothenburg, Konstepidemin