CEO Faiqa Sultani, the founder of Golesang Art, began her career working in Afghanistan as an art therapist at a psychiatric clinic funded by the German government. She explored the therapeutic benefits of supplementing painting for patients experiencing acute psychological distress. Tragedy and traumatic life events were common among patients. Sultani noted women she encountered, especially, had endured difficulty coping with additional daily life stressors. Sultani observed that many women began experiencing more positive emotions within one month of engaging in art therapy, which eventually led to the establishment of Golesang Art.
Sultani was taken by the effects of art therapy and wanted to learn more, so she left Afghanistan for India to study further. While in India, she earned a bachelor's degree in fashion and fine arts from Punjab University. In addition to her studies, Sultani began incorporating painting into her designs, using dresses as canvases. As inspiration flowed, she imagined women’s stories as artwork, fueled by emotion, painted on beautiful, authentic clothing. In Sultani’s vision, clothes would be more than just cloth and thread designed to uphold the latest fashion trends. These transformational pieces of art would serve as a collection of human experiences capturing grief, joy, misery, struggle, and hope. These wearable paintings represent someone’s life, which gives the dress uniqueness and something real for buyers to connect with.
Following numerous accolades, Sultani returned to Afghanistan to study digital graphic design at The American University of Afghanistan. Hence, after years of work and studying, Sultani crystallized her collective experiences by founding Golesang Art in November 2019. Women are the lifeblood of the studio, and Sultani creates a healing, nurturing space where women can practice art therapy, express their feelings, visualize their stories, and share those narratives with the world. Though Golesang Art is a small business, Sultani hopes the space will empower women through art and help provide financially for the artist and their families, ultimately improving participants’ well-being.
Though Sultani advocates for women through art healing, encouraging them to express their deepest hurts, mental health is not widely discussed in Afghanistan. Mental health stigma remains despite generations of conflict, strife, and resulting trauma most residents have faced. Sultani hopes important work like hers will begin to eliminate stigma and shift the mental health conversation forward. Aseel is pleased to partner with Golesang Art, believing in the mission and helping accomplish the lofty goals set by Sultani. Be part of the movement by supporting Golesang Art on the Aseel shop page!