In Baya Mahieddine’s works, the woman is always the focal point. There aren’t any male figures in her paintings. There are some works where you have a female with an infant. But then again, that’s an extension of the woman herself. Baya was born in 1931 and orphaned when she was around five or six years old. She was then raised by her grandmother. Later on, she was adopted by the French intellectual Marguerite Camina Benhoura. It was after seeing Baya drawing and painting in the mud, and making clay figures while her grandmother was working in the garden, that Benhoura adopted her and nurtured that talent. Benhoura had a huge impact on Baya’s life. She was a painter herself, This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-One Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Films Music Issue 42 Peer Review Iranian artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat pays homage to the iconic Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum. Arts & Culture Issue 41 An Artist in Tunis Dora Dalila Cheffi is building her reputation, and her home, in the Tunisian capital. Arts & Culture Issue 41 CULT ROOMS Inside Alexander Calder’s studio, where chaos and kinetic art found a harmonious balance. Arts & Culture Issue 40 Katie Paterson The artist making work for other planets. Arts & Culture Issue 40 Olalekan Jeyifous On fantastical architecture and sci-fi Brooklyn. Arts & Culture Issue 39 Liana Finck The wobbly-lined cartoonist with a razor-sharp vision.