Music and arts festival in Kabul paints a different picture of Afghanistan

4 Oct 2012

Music and arts festival in Kabul paints a different picture of Afghanistan

KABUL - With the aim of promoting creativity in Afghanistan and provide an opportunity for entertainment, the Afghan and international musicians and artists enthralled their audiences in the second Sound Central Festival in Kabul. The 2-4 October festival concluded in Kabul today.

Besides Afghan artists, music bands from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the United States and other international bands in Afghanistan, which also comprised foreign expatriates working in Afghanistan, performed in the Afghan capital.

The first festival, which was held in Kabul last year, included only music.

“Sound Central Festival has designed a new programme for this year’s festival that will include cinema and other performing arts and is bound to expand the visual consciousness of the Afghan crowd and inspire them to create their own visual arts scene,” said Travis Beard, the founder and director of the festival.

The first day of festival was dedicated to women with female artists performing in front of women-only audiences.

“We are here to promote a new image of Afghanistan because people abroad know this country only for war effects. There is a lot of talent in this country, they just need to be discovered,” said Laurance Levasseur, the coach of only circus theatre “Afsana” in Afghanistan.

Afghan gymnasts, who have been training for the last two years, amazed their audience with their skills and received tremendous applauses.

Boman Ahmed, a young Afghan Gymnast said his team needed appreciation and support from the people and the Afghan Government so that they could perform on international level and let the people around the globe know about the talents of Afghan youth.

On the second day of the festival, Maria Iqbal, a young Afghan artist who has been living in Dubai, was seen painting at a corner a portrait of a famous late singer of Afghanistan, Ahmed Zahir. She has successfully attracted the attention of majority of the audiences and media reporters through her beautiful piece of art.

“Afghan youth are talented and I want them to invest their energy on positive activities,” said Ms. Iqbal.

The international artists seemed quite disillusioned as their perception had changed after seeing the enthusiasm and zeal among Afghans for arts and music.

“Afghanistan is very different from what you see on television. I am seeing the beautiful parts of Afghanistan now, people are friendly and the music is amazing,” said Mirshad, a Sri Lankan Guitarist, who came all the way from Colombo along with his music band to perform in the festival.

The special feature of the last day includes a premier of award-winning film “Buzkashi Boys”. This film has been screened at multiple international film festivals and it has won awards at the Rhode Island Film Festival for best cinematography and at LA Shortsfest for best drama.

By UNAMA Kabul