Atiq Rahimi at National Archives – Kabul

” An Afghan Cultural Identity ? ”

Exhibition at National Archives from April 25 till July 25, 2016.

A collaboration National Archives & Afghanculturemuseum.

With Atiq Rahimi, Bismillah Khusravi, Patrick Pleutin, Pascale Bastide

“My culture is genuinely plural. So, my cultural identity is defined by its interaction with the Indian, Persian-speaking, Arabic, Turkish and Chinese civilizations.

Seventy two nations shall hear from us their secrets. We chant the air of two hundred religions on a single note of flute.

The mixture of ethnic groups and cultures, the richness of this land is threatened by the wars, let us wish ardently the peace to protect this very unique wealth of ours” Atiq Rahimi

Afghanculturemuseum and National Archives – Kabul

Exhibition Archives-e-Millie Kabul – April 25 till July 25, 2016

Inspired by Mrs Masuma Nazari, Director of the museum, with Patrick Pleutin, Mohammad Mehdi Zafari, Pascale Bastide, and Students in Arts from Kabul University

“An Afghan cultural Identity ?”

This exhibition intends to guide the visitor through different media to a possible answer to that question, which could only be resolved by linking the past and the present.

From the entrance two embroidered textiles with the words “conservation” and “future” great the visitor, a path bordered by chalk works representing ideograms meant to whet the curiosity, leads him or her to the entrance of the museum.

In the first room put on large table, a hand-made painted book , an original piece of art, shows how documents of the past can seem as contemporary and seduce a young audience.

To invite the visitor to troll through all the galleries, poems are written with a flourish calligraphy on the 30 window desks presenting documents, miniatures and photographies.

In the first gallery, on the right hand side, two niches have been filled up with enlarged miniatures, representing a woman and a man to emphasize the delicacy of the drawing and the colour, moreover the scale of the personages creates an immediate feeling of otherness.

The third room welcomes a flat screen TV monitor, harmoniously integrated in the antique furniture of the National Archives. It presents the concept of the virtual Afghanculturemuseum whose the digital expression enables to mix 4.000 B.C. works of art with the contemporary daily life of the Afghan people.

In the  last room, under the watchful eyes of a young man of the 15th Century,  another enlarged miniature entitled “Timeless treasure”, a short film, after a text of Atiq Rahimi , composed of different types of images from The National Archives and enriched by live calligraphies, praise the different ethnic groups of Afghanistan, a delicate richness to be cherished.

All the glasses of the doors, as a magical gesture, have been decorated with white painted copies of flowers inspired by details of miniatures, turning the entire museum into an immense herbarium.

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Portrait : Mehdi Zafari

My name is Mehdi Zafari, born in 1983 in Ghazni province of Afghanistan in the Gol-Kuh village in the district of Qarah Bagh.

I am studying Anthropology at the EHESS in Paris, France, I am also a documentary filmmaker.

When I was a child, during the Soviet Union invasion, our house was bombed by the Soviet killing eight of my family.  Following that tragedy, my family decided to take refugee first in Pakistan and then in Iran.  I finished my school in Iran, a country with which we share the same language and religion.

With the fall of Taliban regime I decided to go back to my country in order to continue my education. A year later, I entered Kabul University, Fine Arts section.

The faculty lacked expert teachers and equipments. The workshops launched by foreign embassies were our only hope for knowledge and experience.

In 2006, I entered a course on documentary filmmaking delivered by the French Film School Ateliers Varan. Since then I have participated in a summer school on Cinema and Human Rights held in conjunction with the Venice Film Festival in Italy, participated in the Berlin Film Festival’s Berlinale-Talent Campus, attended the French National Film School La Fémis Documentary Summer School, attended the  “5 sur 5” Film Festival held in La Louviere Belgium and took part in a Film Editing course provided by Ateliers Varan in Kabul and some workshop in Paris at INA.

In 2009 Ateliers Varan workshop, along with my former French professor, I served as assistant trainer for a new group of 10 young film students.

In October and November 2010, I was working as Trainer and Training Coordinator in a production and training documentary program for young film students in Afghanistan called Community Supported Film from Boston, USA.