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The story behind Wardak ‘Village Sisters Art Movement’

The story behind Wardak ‘Village Sisters Art Movement’

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9 Mar 2018 - 00:00
The story behind Wardak ‘Village Sisters Art Movement’
author avatar
9 Mar 2018 - 00:00

MAIDAN SHAHR (Pajhwok): A group of young women in insurgency-plagued central Maidan Wardak province has been campaigning to give aspirant female poets a platform to recite their poetry and art talent through their initiative —Village Sisters Art Movement

The idea came to the mind of Muska Sahel, poet and cultural activist, one and a half years ago, when she embarked on the literary mission to enable women like men to recite their poems on stage and fully-participate in cultural programs.

Despite problems and challenges, Muska had been able to keep in touch with her fellow women and contacted the Cultural and Information Department and shared the idea with the authorities.

The Cultural and Information Department welcomed Muska’s idea and assured cooperation in provision of transport and a secure place.

Cultural Department Director Aurang Mukhtar said Muska Sahel’s idea was encouraging and he had assured her that it was his department’s responsibility to assist them in arranging their literary sessions.

“We are living in a traditional and patriarchal society where men don’t like women to express their deprivations and issues in poetry. I believe if women come together in a only women place and recite their poetry on stage, the issue could be resolved to some level.”

After continued efforts by Muska and the Cultural Affairs Department, the “Village Sisters Art Movement” came into being but only a handful of members showed physical presence in poetic session while many women using pin-names established telephonic contracts with the movement.

Mukhtar said: “Poems of the participants are aired on local radios, it encourages other women. We have assured to publish two books, one for Muska Sahel and another of the participants.”

Muska could not be reached for comment but one of her colleagues said she could not be found easily because she lived in a village.

However, her colleague delivered Pajhwok questions in written to Sahel, who returned her answers in written three days later.

About the launch of her movement, she wrote: “I noticed poets of our province attended poet sessions elsewhere because they had no platform. There are some girls who learned from art related programs on local radios.”

Despite family restraints, she used different pretexts to meet her colleagues in Maidan Wardak and Kabul and finally with the help of some male poets she launched the Village Sisters Art Movement.

Shabir Ahmad, a local poet, said poetry gathering “Apple Flower” was annually held in Maidan Wardak where poets recited their verses.

He said Maidan Wardak has been in isolation due to insecurity and no media coverage and the youth often stayed away from in poetry programs because such events were usually politicized.

The Village Sisters Art Movement arranges a poetic session once in three months, but says it plans to arrange a session once in every month.

The information and culture director said a female would be appointed in his department’s youth affairs section to interact with female poets.


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