Visiting Arts encourages links between UK artists and promoters with their counterparts overseas, especially from countries that are undergoing a significant transition. In such countries, artists are often the most eloquent commentators and the medium through which national identity and pride can be re-established.
In Spring 2003, Visiting Arts began a small research project in Afghanistan, under difficult conditions, to monitor the reconstruction of the cultural system by the Interim Administration. The role which culture can play in reconstruction and development is often underestimated by economists and agencies. It is often forgotten that in the daily lives of the people living in adversity, culture is a constant and reviving presence, both healing and interpretative. Artists are often the most eloquent commentators on their people's situation.
Linda Mazur, Visiting Arts’ researcher, began travelling widely throughout Afghanistan, interviewing artists and officials, compiling a cultural overview, identifying the current situation in each art form and highlighting the opportunities and the gaps that exist.
Visiting Arts’ aim for the project is to provide objective information on the progress of the cultural rebuilding, in order that artists, institutions, promoters, and curators in the United Kingdom can begin to engage with Afghanistan in appropriate ways. It is the most comprehensive overview of the Afghan cultural system yet created and is designed to be a growing resource.
The British Council has provided funds to publish the Afghanistan Cultural Profile on this website.
For more information, please contact:
Contact: Tim Doling Managing Editor, Visiting Arts Cultural Profiles