Restoring voice, cultural identity and recognition

An important part of our work is helping Afghanistan restore its voice and reacquire its cultural identity.  This is done through a number of activities from showcasing Afghan artists’ work to organising exhibitions and screening films produced by Afghan film makers, both in the UK and internationally. 

In 2013, the British Council helped to screen short fiction Afghan films produced by young Afghan film makers at the Alchemy Arts Festival in London. 

This year we supported the organisation of a jewellery exhibition; the joint work of students from Turquoise Mountain Institute and UK designs.  The exhibition was held during October and November at the British Council headquarters in London. 

In December 2013, the British Council organised a panel discussion on Afghan arts and education in the UK Parliament.   The progress and future of arts, culture and education in Afghanistan was discussed. The event was an excellent opportunity for the participants to see the progress and positive side of life in Afghanistan, something that is rarely covered by the international media.

In May 2014, the British Council provided a platform for six students and two teachers from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) in Southbank Centre’s Alchemy Festival in London to demonstrate to the international community the positive changes in Afghanistan as well as to create opportunities for ANIM students to develop personally, musically and professionally. This project was a highly successful combination of cultural diplomacy, training and skills development, cross-cultural exposure, and youth interaction.