PROJECT RAHA US AND AFGHAN WOMEN VETERANS CONNECT, HEAL, TRANSFORM, AND INSPIRE THROUGH ART
AN ACT OF SERVICE BETWEEN JENN HASSIN, COMMAND PURPOSE FOUNDATION, AND SISTERS OF SERVICE
Opening reception will be Thursday, November 2nd from 6-9pm
Exhibition open to the public from November 3rd to 30th
Viewing hours weekdays from 10am-6pm
Auction is online at https://www.artsy.net/project-raha
Project Raha Benefit Auction 2023
U.S. and Afghan Women Veterans Connect, Heal, Transform, and Inspire through Art
Auction powered by Artsy:
Bidding in the auction will open on Wednesday, November 1st at 12 p.m. EDT and start to close on Monday, November 13th at 12 p.m. EDT.
Soon to be launched at artsy.net/project-raha
415 West 13th St, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10014
Opening reception will be Thursday, November 2nd from 6-9pm Exhibition open to the public from November 3rd to 30th Viewing hours on weekdays from 10am-6pm
Command Purpose Foundation, Sisters of Service, their Afghan sisters in arms, and artist Jenn Hassin announce the official opening of the Project Raha art exhibition and Artsy online benefit auction. The artworks created through Project Raha will be on display at Affirmation Arts in Manhattan from November 2nd to 30th. An online benefit auction of the artwork will be powered by Artsy beginning November 1st and ending on November 13th. There will be six paintings featured for sale that were made by the Afghan and U.S. veteran women of Project Raha with the help of Jenn Hassin. There will additionally be twenty-seven paintings made by Jenn Hassin, as well as four signed limited edition screen prints she has created with ink and henna.
On the two-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Project Raha took flight. “Raha” which translates to “release” in the Dari language, brought together the Command Purpose Foundation, Sisters of Service, their Afghan sisters in arms, and artist Jenn Hassin to transform pain into healing through art. It is an extension of Command Purpose Foundation’s mission to serve military women transitioning into the civilian world, by using art as a medium to process this complex transition.
This particular initiative benefits a group of trailblazing Afghan women, known as the Female Tactical Platoon, who were trained and worked alongside the U.S. Army to fight the Taliban and ISIS from 2011 to 2021. From this group, thirty-nine female members were evacuated to the U.S. in the chaos during the fall of Kabul in August 2011 and now live quietly spread throughout the
country working to build new lives. With this benefit auction Project Raha seeks to raise funds to serve them in rediscovering their purpose, value, voice and community through this powerful sisterhood, and beyond, while resettling here in the United States.
As part of Project Raha, U.S. and Afghan women veterans reunited in Texas for two art retreats led by Jenn Hassin to transform materials tied to memories from their time in service into paper and pulp paintings. The materials used to create the paintings included old military uniforms, traditional Afghan clothes, and jeans and sweatshirts worn during the evacuation effort on C-17s. Through this creative process, the women honored loved ones lost, memories forgotten, and friendships reborn anew. With the belief that we all each exist more honestly in our own raw materials, Hassin seeks to make beauty out of these materials and serve others as they endure times of transition.
After the art retreats, Jenn Hassin embarked on a creative journey, responding to the shared experiences by crafting a fresh body of work as an extension of what the group had begun. Motivated by the resilience and connectivity of her U.S. and Afghan veteran sisters, she allowed the encounter and materials to shape the process. Hassin pushed the boundaries of her artistry, endeavoring to visually narrate stories shared with her.
This exhibition not only shares a glimpse into the strength, perseverance, and profound connections of U.S. and Afghan veteran women who served alongside one another in Afghanistan for twenty years, but also serves as a visual reminder of a conflict long forgotten. It is a testament to friends and service members lost, an ode to the women who forged bonds of sisterhood through service, and a story of collective healing for all post-9/11 veterans that transcends national and cultural divides.
As we approach Veterans Day, we encourage the public to join us in commemorating the service and sacrifices of our veterans, while celebrating the resilience of these women who continue to inspire in the face of hardship. To learn more about Project Raha please visit our website here.
We also invite you to watch this video clip to learn more about Project Raha and how the artworks were made.
Jenn Hassin (born in 1986 in Texas) currently resides in Buda, Texas. She received her Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University with a focus on Social Practice and Installation. She graduated with a degree in Studio Art in 2012 from Saint Edward’s University after serving in the United States Air Force. Some of her most poignant installations, Letters of Sacrifice and A Battle Lost, are currently on display in West Point at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School in New York. Hassin’s work has been exhibited at the Pentagon, The Contemporary Austin, the National Veterans Art Museum, Blue Star Contemporary, Ivester Contemporary, as well as in private collections at universities, in patron’s homes, and places of business.
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