For the Afghan cultural scene, exile or death – Liberation

For the Afghan cultural scene, exile or death – Liberation

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With the return to power of the fundamentalists, the artistic creation of the country that existed for twenty years is forced to flee. Several initiatives have sprung up to exfiltrate and welcome dozens of artists in danger, especially in France.

When the Taliban invaded Kabul on August 15, the painters of a mural continued to fight back, not realizing the danger. On Twitter, Omaid H. Sharifi, founder of ArtLords – a group of artists -, draws a parallel between this scene captured by an online video with that, terrible, of Titanic where the orchestra was still playing when the liner sank. Now a refugee in Abu Dhabi, with only his computer and a few extra clothes, Omaid H. Sharifi sleeps very little, busy evacuating artists from Afghanistan to the Emirates, Uganda and France. “Everything I do is against the Taliban, he says to Edition. It is a terrorist group that is against art. They don’t like me and I don’t like them. They killed my 23-year-old sister-in-law and three artists from the group were killed in the attacks.”

Funded by grants from the United Nations, Unicef, US and Canadian embassies, the ArtLords project, born in 2014, takes pride in the creation of more than 2000 frescoes – most notably on the explosion-proof walls of Kabul – and brings such fifty artists together (graphic designers, painters, musicians, actors, directors) that Omaid H. Sharifi is helping to exfiltrate today. “Everything we have built is gone. Afghanistan is turning black and white again. It loses its beauty, its diversity and …


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