From June 22nd – July 12th, ANIM was extremely proud to participate in the project entitled “Safar – Afghanistan Meets Germany” – following an invitation from the Liszt University of Music Weimar, Germany and Transcultural Music Studies Faculty Mr. Philip Küppers. A group of five Afghan master musicians, including Ustad Gholam Hossein, Ustad Amruddin, Ustad Jawid Mahmood, Ustad Ehsan Irfan, and Ustad Abdul Latif and two young ANIM students (Samimullah – rubab, and Elham – piano), performed and exchanged musical ideas with virtuoso German musicians, Jörg Holdinghausen (bass), Arne Jansen (guitar), and Jan Burkamp (percussion). Since 2010 some of these old masters have been working at the Afghan National Institute of Music (ANIM) in Kabul to impart these rich old traditions to younger generations.
The project itself aimed at increasing cultural understanding between Afghanistan and Germany, while also providing insight into, and new perspectives towards one’s own culture. Accordingly, cultural relations and ties between Germany and Afghanistan were strengthened. In cooperation with three renowned jazz and pop musicians, a communicative and brisk musical journey was undertaken, transcending all potential language-barriers. The results of this cooperation were presented in concerts in Weimar, Rudolstadt, Bonn and Berlin and broadcasts on the radio as well as several workshops and conferences about Afghan music, it’s current status, and Afghan music as an important part of intangible cultural heritage. This project also allowed a representation of the positive side of Afghanistan as opposed to the often negative one portrayed in the international media.
As the very existence of traditional Afghan music is threatened of disappearing, the musicians were also recorded professionally and their educational work was documented. The recording sessions were held July, 2nd- 5th 2012 in the recording studio of the Liszt University of Music in Weimar and later made available to the public in international music archives. Workshops with students will be also held to inform the public about the current status of music in Afghanistan and its potential for future development.
Media coverage and film documentation of the concerts were translated into Dari and presented in an exposition in Kabul, as well as on Afghan television (RTA), and information about this exciting event can be found here.
ANIM is excited about this opportunity, and extremely grateful to all of the sponsors including: the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Hochschule fur Musik Franz Liszt Weimar (Transcultural Music Studies Department), European Music Council, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture – Music Initiative, the Embassy of Afghanistan in Germany, Auswärtiges Amt, tff Rudolstadt, ufa Fabrik – Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the City of Bonn, UNESCO, and the Marga und Kurt Mollgaard-Stiftung im Stifterverband fur die Deutsche Wissenschaft.