“With history, you have the benefit of knowing so much about the context, so many details, facts and figures, but you cannot really imagine what it might look like when you were there. Art has this profound way of making it more multidimensional and that’s the beauty of it,” Afshari said.

Over the past 10 months, Afshari has re-created Raphael’s masterpiece but with a SCETL twist: In addition to Plato and Aristotle, Afshari added Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Cesar Chavez, Frederick Douglass, Frida Kahlo and other prominent historical figures.

The mural now hangs in the Coor Texts Reading Room, which is open to all Arizona State University students and faculty. Many items in the Reading Room are available through generous long-term loans made by the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership faculty members. You can view the catalog here.

In addition to working on the mural throughout the year, Afshari also worked part time as a pharmacy technician, served on the Undergraduate Student Government as the director of health and wellness, was an Eichler Scholar through the Dartmouth Health Care Foundations, an IGNITE Fellow for Teach For America and a WINURE Neuroscience Research Scholar for the School of Life Sciences.

“This has served as a break for me,” Afshari said. “It was a nice opportunity to explore my passions and find something good in something really bad … I am proud of myself and I’m really excited for everyone to see it and admire it, and hopefully derive something cool out of it that I didn’t even intend.”

Jacey West

Communications program coordinator, School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership