LAZA is a painter and a street artist from Yemen whose work focuses on civil society projects, including raising awareness of the impact of war on individuals and society. Much of her work can be seen on the walls of Yemen’s capital Sana'a, presenting an artistic counter-narrative to conservative trends in Yemeni society.
Starting her career in 2014, LAZA took part in the first street caricature campaign in Yemen and the Arab World facilitating discussion of political and social issues through street art and murals. Continuing her artistic work, LAZA painted murals entitled ‘Marginalised’, ‘The Mechanic of War’, ‘God is Generous’, ‘Dreaming’, and ‘Overthinking’, amongst others. The central framing of much of LAZA’s work is based on the form of the human body and can be observed in pieces such as ‘Depression’, ‘Refugees’, ‘Prisoner’, ‘Memories’, and others. In addition to street artwork, LAZA has also produced more traditional art pieces such as canvas paintings and pen sketches.
Being a female artist addressing social and political issues in Yemen, LAZA’s worked was often censored and erased, forcing her to flee her country. In 2022, LAZA arrived in Lyon, France and became the city’s first ICORN resident where she continues her artistic work in safety.
Aside from being an artist, LAZA’s civil society work aims to highlight the reality of everyday life in war-torn Yemen as well as the issues faced by Arab women, more generally. In Lyon, LAZA is currently working on projects which, through art, will help raise further awareness of the issues about which she is most passionate.