Afghanistan, art of resistance

Art of Resistance: The Afghan Institute of Music, Kabul.

Andrew Quilty is a well known Australian photographer. He recently made his first trip to Afghanistan, where he intends to return very soon. From his first visit to Afghanistan, Quilty brought some great stories. One of them is a story about the Afghan Institute of Music in Kabul.

Artist statement:

“In 2001 further to the collapse of the Taliban government, whose radical interpretation of Islam led to a world without television nor music, it was the Afghan people themselves who brought music back into their lives” says Sarmast from his office at ANIM.

Originally, the ANIM (Afghan National Institute of Music) project led by Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, was a theoretical report commissioned by the Afghan Ministry of Culture on how to revive the taste for music in the country. During six years, Dr Sarmast led the project into a new direction, by creating in 2010 this independent school which provides free vocational music training and a general education to street kids and children (to both girls and boys) from remote provinces.

Yet, the lack of qualified Afghans music teachers and musicians is obvious despite the close links that exist between musical culture and Afghan philisophy. The World Bank’s subventions, the Afghan Education Ministry and the German and US governments’, provide help to this school and hence offering it the guarantees of a confortable future. It also gives the youth of the Afghan Child Education and Care Organisation – a national network of nine orphanages-cum-boarding schools – the possibility to access this educational system, especially the girls.

In this country where foundamentalist politic tensions tend to continue to slow down the development of the teaching of culture, the ANIM carries a message of hope towards the rediscovering of a national musical tradition.”

Here are some of Quilty’s photos.

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/all photos  © Andrew Quilty/

For more on this project, go to Agence VU.

For more on Quilty and his work, visit his official website.

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