Afghan Women’s Project
Afghan Women's Portraits: In Our Own Voices
Despite the current state of affairs in Afghanistan, New Music-Theatre continues its support of women’s voices in a variety of artistic fields in our project - Afghan Women's Portraits: In Our Own Voices.
We have invited Afghan filmmaker Airoshkh Faiz Qasary, whose short documentary “Look Who’s Driving Now” won international acclaim, to collaborate on a series of initial video portraits to help further the story of the ongoing resiliency of Afghan women as cultural keepers and art-makers. Through this series, Alliance has produced four short video portraits, initially featuring women living in Afghanistan’s diaspora. These portraits will serve as glimpses into the music, poetry, calligraphy, dance, visual arts, and costume/fashion design -- a rich culture which is already endangered and at risk of being further destroyed.
The videos feature artists:
Sughra Husseini on calligraphy
Samia Karimi on Female Afghan Dance
Sima Azimi on Fashion Design and Tribal Fiber Arts
and Jahan Ara on Painting
In September, Airokhsh and Susan Galbraith were invited to present to a film class at Montgomery College about the process of preparing cultural documentary interviews. Airokhsh and Susan showed and discussed three of the short video interviews with Afghan women artists. It was exciting to share in conversation with so many bright young filmmakers.
Through these videos we hope to not only celebrate these beautiful creative artists but as a way to help preserve traditional art forms of Afghanistan at a time when the political structures imposed on the population of women in their country is threatening to erase their history and silence their gifts permanently.
In addition to creating these videos, as part of the multi-year process of developing our cross-cultural project about the history and artistic achievements of Afghan women, Alliance will continue to offer a series of workshops bringing Afghan and local artists together, featuring dance, music and poetry from Afghanistan
The aim of Afghan Women's Portraits is to give voice to ordinary Afghan women and show their lives as extraordinary – artists, educators, and stewards of Afghanistan’s rich cultural past. Former Ambassador Roya Rahmani commented: “There is no more important time to feature the women of Afghanistan, highlighting the positivity of their contributions and making essential women’s role in lighting the way.”
In the future we plan to feature and help sustain this cultural heritage in our culminating production of
Women of Troy: Voices from Afghanistan.