I am a girl, a tree in the sun, I am a messenger from the land of hope
February 2, 2017 9:19 PM   Subscribe

The Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) was established in 2010 to revive the musical culture in Afghanistan. Four years later, they formed the Afghan Women's Orchestra with fewer than ten players. That group has expanded to more than 30 young women, who pursue their passion in the face of family hostility and threats. The young women traveled to Switzerland in January of this year to perform as Zohra at the Davos 2017 World Economic Forum (51 minute recording with background and introduction, with the concert starting about 8 minutes in).
Zohra, the winner of the Freemuse Award 2017, is the first and only all women orchestra in Afghanistan. They are students at the National Institute of Music (ANIM) and the first women in their families, community and country to learn music in over 30 years.
Last year, the Zohra ensemble recorded an album with traditional instruments in Kabul, for the album Gulistan-e Nur (The Rosegarden of Light), a peaceful reaction to a vicious act of violence. In December 2014 the courageous young students of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) were performing musical accompaniment to a play in Kabul that was the target of a suicide bombing. The explosion severely wounded Dr Ahmad Sarmast, the deeply respected founder and director of ANIM. He survived, and he lost his hearing, but the attack only made him more determined.

Here is a video for "Girl Child Song" from that album, and a live video of the Afghan Women's Orchestra "Zohra" performing Shad Kon Jan-e-Man.
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Via NPR (All-Female Orchestra From Afghanistan Is A Force For Change - January 31, 2017)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:21 PM on February 2, 2017

Beautiful. See also The Afghan Children's Songbook Project, returning children's songs, which had been eradicated from Afghanistan, back to schools.
posted by transient at 6:28 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

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