SOAS University of London

Centre for Gender Studies

Ms S. Paniz Musawi Natanzi

BA (Free University of Berlin), MSc (SOAS, University of London)
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Paniz Musawi Natanzi
Centre for Gender Studies

PhD Representative

Department of Politics and International Studies

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Ms S. Paniz Musawi Natanzi
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Mondays, 11.00am - 1.00pm
Thesis title:
Visual Art Production in War: A Feminist Geopolitical Analysis of Masculinities in Art-Producing Spaces in West Kabul, Afghanistan, from 2014-2018
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Paniz holds a BA in Political Science from the Free University of Berlin’s Otto Suhr Institute (2013) and an MSc in Comparative Political Thought from SOAS (2014). Paniz has published in the taz. die tageszeitung, the French revue l’imparfaite, n.paradoxa-international feminist art journal, Art Represent, Feminist Review blog, Pakistan Art Now and the Centre for a Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP).

PhD Research

In my PhD research I look at the spectre of masculinities in Kabul with focus on ethnographical fieldwork gathered in spaces of art production between 2014-2018 in West Kabul: men are often approached as universalised political actors – soldiers, warlords, perpetrators of sexual violence, suicide bombers, illiterate social disenfranchised classes, angry and dangerous Islamists - in political and social sciences engaging with Afghanistan. While war, as a mode of production, requires and produces violent masculinities, there are also masculinities challenging political violence through spiritual, religious and secular understandings of Persianate and Islamicate visual arts.

This thesis contributes to the widely under researched spectre of masculinities in Kabul by analysing the trajectory of “self-reflectivity” referred to by masculine art producers’ in art studios, Kabul University and domestic spaces. I emphasise communal art producing spaces and problematise the concept of “self-reflectivity” through religious, spiritual and secular knowledges I encountered as a guiding theme across the manifold art producing spaces of West Kabul. I argue that while women have been the “liberal” agents of “cultural production” through “contemporary art” projects funded by NATO member states, men were consistently producing art throughout four decades of war to generate an income. The illusion of liberal empowerment of women contemporary artists rather than supporting them has hindered women’s economic empowerment through art production by turning them into virtual and representational spectacles of “liberal peace-building” in Afghanistan.


Book Chapter: 

  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz ‘The Mad (Wo)Man Poet of New Iranian Poetry in the 1950s-1960s: The Legacy of Majnun in Ahmad Shamlu’s and Forugh Farrokhzad’s Love Poetry’. In: Alshaer, A. (Ed.) The Poetry of Love in Middle Eastern Literatures. London and New York: Hurst & Co and Oxford University Press; Forthcoming 




  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz (2016) ‘The geopolitics of visual knowledge production: Afghan women artists in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan', n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal, issue June 2016, pp. 81-90
  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz (2015) ‘The Continent – Tracing the Social Power of the City of the Dead.’, in “Re:public”, Exhibition catalogue, Zagreb (CR)
  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz (2013) ‘Globales Lernen.’ taz. die tageszeitung, 17/18 August, p. 48.
  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz (2013) ‘Wird mein Kind in dieser Gesellschaft dazugehören?’ taz. die tageszeitung, 8 August, p. 24.
  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz (2013) ‘Psalm, Sure und persische Mystik swingen zusammen.’ taz. die tageszeitung, 7 August
  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz (2013) ‘Im Rhythmus der Verdammten dieser Erde.’ taz. die tageszeitung, 29 July, p. 15.
  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz (2013) ‘Die Faszination des Anderen.’ taz. die tageszeitung, 4 July, p. 6.
  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz (2013) ‘Von Marionetten, Minderheiten und Bomben.’ taz. die tageszeitung, 28 June, p. 24
  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz (2013) ‘Verzerrung der Realitäten.’ taz. die tageszeitung, 12 February, p. 15.
  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz (2013) ‘De-orientalizing ‘the harem.’ The crux of representation in post-colonial studies’. l’imparfaite, no. 5, March, pp. 96-98


  • Musawi Natanzi, Paniz. 2018. “Tehran.” Feminist Review 118 (1): 100–102.


Heinrich Böll Foundation



feminist geopolitics, political economy and knowledge production in war, body politics and dis/mobility, cultural militarism, Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, comparative political thought


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