Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented a conversation Unjust Narratives: The Absence of Hazara People in Public Discourse livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 26 April 2022 at 8:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -7) / 12:30 p.m. UTC / 2:30 p.m. CEST (Stockholm, UTC +2) / 5 p.m. AFT (Kabul, UTC +4:30).
Following interesting conversations with various collaborators, this time, the Safe Havens Freedom Talks series offers a panel titled “Unjust Narratives; The Absent of Hazara People in Public Discourse”. In collaboration with Teater DOS and Buddha Nights, the event will be streamed on Tuesday 26 April 2022.
Moderated by Asad Buda (Afghan writer), Dr Homira Rezai (Chair of the Hazara Committee in the UK) and Sajjad Askary (contributor to Guardian Australia) will address the various dimensions and consequences of unjust public discourse about Afghanistan in this talk.
Discrimination, oppression, and inequality begin with stories and narratives. Often national and international narratives about Afghanistan perpetuate injustice because they do not refer to diversity, gender, or social minorities. These narratives are a kind of misinterpretation, resulting in the silencing of differences and creating epistemic ignorance. They enable social exclusion, structural prejudice, and systematic discrimination.
About Buddha Nights
The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha Statues in 2001 was beyond massacre. It was carried out in continuation of the ethnic cleansing, exclusively with the aim of destroying the history of the Hazara people. The purge even strongly has continued after the Taliban has returned on 15 August 2021.
In collaboration with Safe Havens Freedom Talks and Teater DOS, Buddha Nights arranges three discussions for seeking an alternative narrative related to what is happening in Afghanistan with a special focus on destroying world cultural heritage in Bamiyan. The objective of the project is to explore the social injustice and political inequality at the narrative level from different dimensions: Destroying History; Urbicide and Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Bamiyan, Injustice in Narrative; The Absent of Hazara People in International Narrative, and Intersectionality; Gender Discrimination in Afghanistan.
About Freedom Talks
Safe Havens – Freedom Talks series is closely connected to the annual global Safe Havens conference. The Freedom Talks series is focused on issues regarding threats towards artistic freedom, free press and intangible heritage. Guests in the Freedom Talks series are highly knowledgeable and prolific actors in the global Arts Rights Justice sector – fighting for artistic freedom. The Freedom Talks aim to share space and broaden the narrative of who can take centre stage, by lending the brand to different organisations within the sector. The talks are presented in – or translated to – English. The talks can be watched through our website, our Facebook page and through our partner Howlround, where also previous events are archived.
The Participants @Buddha Nights
Asad Buda is a freelance writer from Bamiyan, Afghanistan. He studied sociology in Tehran and theology in Qom and he has worked as a University Lecturer in Kabul. He is the former ICORN guest writer in Karlstad. After his arrival in Sweden, a chapter of his personal memoir ´´Det återvändande Ögat´´ was published in Värmland Writers Anthology. As the project manager, He worked with Riksteatern on the Little History Project which resulted in publishing a book under the title of Hoppets Territorium. Besides writing, he works with visual art, focusing on the demonization of political enemies and aesthetic aspects of extremists and political violence. He worked with Khadim Ali on different projects: The Evil Flower, Sharjah Biennial 2019, The Invisible Border, 2020, Future as An Unknown Enemy, Action Gallery – New York, 2020 - 2021, Sermon on The Mount, Institute of Modern art – Australia 2021. There Is No Other Home but This is under exhibit at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, from 26th February – 26th June 2022.
Dr Homira Rezai is the Chair of the Hazara Committee in the UK (HCUK), a non-profit organisation working for the British-Hazara Community in the country and advocates for the rights of Hazaras in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She is passionate about women’s and minority rights and has been a vocal advocate in the past years. Through her work at HCUK, she has written several reports and parliamentary briefs on the Hazaras providing accurate information on what is really happening on the ground. Homira was one of the organisers who co-led the #StopHazaraGenocide campaign which increased the conversation on the persecution of Hazaras in Afghanistan around the world. Homira holds a Ph.D. in medicine and is the Executive Operations lead at MirZyme Therapeutics, an innovative pharmaceutical company developing diagnostics and therapeutics for pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia.
Monirah Hashemi co-founded Simorgh Film Association of Culture and Art in Herat, in 2005. In 2006 she established a theatre department within SFACA where she worked as playwright, director and actor. Her award-winning debut play, Cry of History, which was produced solely by women was the first play performed before a mixed audience after Taliban’s collapse, at The Educational Theatre Festival in Herat, 2006. She has written and directed several plays with a focus on creating female-led and female-fronted productions, addressing a range of social justice issues, particularly related to women’s rights. Monirah who has performed nationally and internationally participated at the 9th and 10th Women Playwright International Conference with Masks Under the Burka and Sitaraha – The Stars in Stockholm and Cape Town in 2012 and 2015. Monirah Hashemi is a co-founder of A Night with Buddha Festival. Her latest play, Who Lights the Stars, depict the structural silence on incest.
Sajjad Askary is a contributor to Guardian Australia. He is a BA graduate in International Relations and is a current student of Juris Doctor at Monash University Law School in Australia.
*The event is organised by the independent international NGO Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT), through collaborations within the global Arts Rights Justice sector, and with Safemuse graciously supporting as its mentoring organisation in the start-up period. SH|FT is supported by The Swedish Arts Council under the Programme for Artistic Freedom funded by Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and The Freedom Talks are sponsored by the Swedish Institute. The exhibition and platform project is sponsored by the Swedish Postcode Foundation.