Young artist spotlight

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Assembly readers from 12 countries share their latest creations.

An open call for Assembly readers to share their art brought in photographs, paintings, sculptures, sketches and more created by young women around the world.

Afia from Pakistan sent in a painting of blue whales that she made to raise awareness about their near extinction.

Betelhem from Ethiopia submitted her photograph of a sunset that symbolises overcoming adversity.

Katia from Mexico shared her oil painting of huevos estrellados (fried eggs) because she loves the details in the piece.

Check out the art that Assembly readers are creating.


“Lion is one of the strongest animal. It symbolizes pride, strength, courage. Its eyes represent peace.”

Khadijah, 15, Afghanistan


“The ecological footprint measures human demand on nature, the quantity of life it takes to support people or an economy. For example, the animal habitat is disrupted in the process of extracting oil, and it takes hundreds of years to recover to what it was. Since the hands of the humans directly do the habitat destruction, I thought it would show the human's influence more accurately if it were thought as a handprint. The rubber hands that are a part of the swan are trying to take over the swan's body, and cover up the form of nature. Human is doing the same trying to control every aspect of nature it ends up destroying. I made this piece to make people look over how we abusively treat nature.

I am proud of this piece because, during the exhibition, people were curious about my intent. They asked questions and it sprouted up environmental discussions, such as habitat destruction and global warming. I was glad to remind them that there is a more significant concept that we have to keep in mind living our lives. We often forget that there is nature surrounding us, and we have to preserve it for our future generations. As an artist, I want to explore more issues and correct the errors in the society such as prejudice and discrimination, and make people consider that is right and wrong once more. I want to change people's skewed perceptions.”

Christina, 18, South Korea


“It's called the whale's heart. I made this piece to raise awareness of how the blue whales have been hunted dreadfully and are about to be extinct. The whale in the art piece is trying to reach the heart because it wants to live and the heart shows life. I want to say that every living thing around us has the same heart that we human beings do so if we have the right to live then so do these other living things. That is why we should take care of them as we take care of ourselves.”

Afia, 19, Pakistan


“The title of the piece is ‘wasting.’ I created it at a time when I felt I wasn’t in full control of my career and choices. It’s a piece that makes me proud, because it was so simple and yet I felt communicated what I couldn’t with words.”

Mwandwe, 24, Zambia


“This photograph, 'Moon over Saguaro' from my series 'Painted Desert,' was taken on a much-needed wilderness road trip around northwest America, on 35mm film. During this time in my life I was suffering with depression and felt directionless. The photo symbolizes the sense of freedom, hope and restoration I felt on this journey.”

Heather, 24, U.K.


“My artwork is trying to represent the dream that Martin Luther King Jr. talked about. Just like him, my generation also dreams of a better place and we have to work for it. We are the chains that are stopping us, but at the same time we can be the hope for a better place. I am proud of being part of a generation that tries to fulfill new dreams every day while we face global challenges.”

Marely, 18, Peru


“It's an explosions box. Crafting is my childhood passion and I’ve been doing it throughout my life. In the past year, I started an Instagram account (@the_littlemaker) and began posting my work on there. Slowly people started noticing me and my works. Today, I am very happy because some people call me ‘littlemaker’ and even my friends call me ‘littlemaker.’ I am proud of myself for being a crafter.”

Noora, 21, India


“Oil on canvas 100x120cm of huevos estrellados (fried eggs). For me it represents something that is near to me. I decided to paint an egg because you can see the details on it, you can appreciate its delicacy just as you would do with something near to you. What inspired me was the big effort doing an egg yolk will require and I wanted to challenge myself doing something different. I’m proud of it because I invested time but I enjoyed the process.”

Katia, 20, Mexico


“This is one of my art pieces that I am very, very proud of. I’m proud because I usually draw eyes but none of them have ever turned out like this and everyone really loved it as well.”

Manreet, 18, Canada


“This photograph is about being hopeful in life. The sunset inspired me because the sun sets but also rises at the next day in life. There may be some obstacles, which seems like we never overcome but we have to be hopeful and accept the challenge life’s trying to give us a lesson about. Always being hopeful no matter the situation.”

— Betelhem, 21, Ethiopia

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“This painting represents that women should stay strong in every phase of their life. In Indian society, I have seen numerous women facing problems, like domestic violence. Women should stand up for themselves. They have strength to fight every situation. The strength of women inspired me to paint this work of mine. I consider it as my masterpiece because I able show that depth of emotions. And with the help of this I can spread awareness.”

Shanu, 22, India


“This piece represents me with my friends. I was inspired by the animes that we watch together and the anime artists we follow. I’m proud of this piece because it’s one of the first drawings that I did with more than one person in the composition.”

— Pilar, 14, Argentina


“My artwork is to symbolise the strength and power our voice gives us! We have the choice to speak for what we believe in. Use that voice and be fearless.”

Zafirah, 22, Singapore

Through Assembly, Malala Fund is helping girls around the world share their stories. Subscribe to receive our newsletter and learn about the next generation of leaders.



Tess Thomas is editor of Assembly, a digital publication and newsletter from Malala Fund. She loves books, cats and french fries.