More than two million people in Afghanistan have a disability, approximately 85 percent of them as a result of war. Some of these people already have skills in different art forms, such as music, calligraphy, theatre, film, painting and so on. These talents can be used to highlight the disasters that war can produce and leave behind. Nobody will suffer more from war than a disabled person in Afghanistan.
Within the overall objective of the Culture and Peace-building project, we worked with a group of 46 disabled people from Kabul and the provinces for eight weeks, in partnership with the Turquoise Mountain Institute, Centre for Contemporary Arts Afghanistan (CCAA) and Community Centre for Disability (CCD).
The objective of the project was to enable the disabled citizens, as an often marginalised segment of Afghan society, to express their feelings about peace through painting and calligraphy. In addition, as part of our agenda for institutional development in Afghanistan, we wanted to provide a development opportunity for the cultural institutions.
Through the project, we provided basic training on contemporary painting and calligraphy for the group using the services of TQI and CCAA’s instructors. At the end of the eight week period every participant had worked on one or two pieces of artwork, expressing peaceful messages through them.