By Lia Gladstone
There are still 68,000 troops in Afghanistan, but this war was hardly discussed during the last presidential campaign. “Afghan Voices” is a multi media presentation about teaching in Afghanistan, including excerpts from the writing of Afghan students, some of the best sources of the long term political effects of the war: students who commute for hours because accessible real estate is for westerners; students who bribe teachers to get a grade because professors don’t earn a living wage; students who laugh when they are told by the administration that politics and religion are off limits. Afghan Voices is an alternative to 30-second sound bites reported by western media.
“Afghan Voices II”
Thu, Apr 4, 6pm
Teatro Santa Ana
Previously in Atención, I related several anecdotes of teaching theater in Afghanistan. In August, 2012, eight Afghan students traveled with me to Stockholm for the Ninth International Women Playwrights Conference, where an extended version of “Afghan Voices” was presented as the Saturday evening feature event of the conference. The students presented two original plays they conceived of, wrote and performed: Masks Under Burqa — three sisters return to Afghanistan after emigrating abroad to find their parents dead, by Monirah Hashmi from Simorgh Film Association of Culture and Art and The Wall — giving birth to her first child, a young woman rediscovers her love of singing, forbidden by her father, by Tahera Hashemi from Papyrus Co. of Kabul. “Afghan Voices II,” presented in Teatro Santa Ana, is a multi-media theatrical presentation featuring video of the above performances and readings from the theatrical writing of Afghan students. Also featured in Stockholm and in San Miguel will be an excerpt from Burn — I Am My Father’s Fire, written with an Afghan student currently a Fulbright scholar at the University of Oregon.