ILLUSTRATOR | KAZAKHSTAN
Qańtar Samal (she/her) is a Kazakh digital artist from Aktobe. In her work, she shares her vision of Kazakh/Central Asian culture and its connection to the local queer community. Explore Qańtar’s Instagram to learn more about her work, and read a brief interview with Qańtar below.
Qańtar SamalI didn't distance myself from my ethnic and queer identities. And because of that, each drawing that united these two parts of me became a manifesto in itself.
What role do you think art can play in social change, activism, and movements?
We live in a world of visual images. One bright image, one good drawing, can cause a storm of emotions. I think such emotions always are the beginning of various transformations in society.
How would you describe your artistic practice amplifying social movements in your communities and/or those your work is concerned with?
Initially, my work was not about activism. But I didn't distance myself from my ethnic and queer identities. And because of that, each drawing that united these two parts of me became a manifesto within itself. Perhaps my work naturally, almost unconsciously, joined the voices of people fighting for their rights. I would describe my practice as combining the cultures of Central Asia with thoughts about decolonization and acceptance of queerness.