• Zohra receives Freemuse Award: “This can inspire young women in Afghanistan to play music”

    A packed concert hall in Geneva witnessed concert master Marjan Fidaee receive the 2017 Freemuse Award on behalf of Zohra, the Afghan Women’s Orchestra, on 25 January 2017. In her acceptance speech Marjan Fidaee said, “The award was not only for the Zohra orchestra but for all Afghanistan.” Dr Ahmad Sarmast, founder of the Afghanistan […]
  • Zohra – The Afghan Women’s Orchestra – is winner of Freemuse Award 2017

    Zohra, the winner of the Freemuse Award 2017, is the first and only all women orchestra in Afghanistan. They are students at the National Institute of Music (ANIM) and the first women in their families, community and country to learn music in over 30 years. “With exceptional courage and dedication these young women are breaking […]
  • Afghanistan: Kandahar authorities ban broadcast of songs by women

    Local Ministry of Information and Culture authorities in the southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan have banned women’s songs from being broadcast across local media, directly affecting the 11 radio stations in operation in the area, reported Afghanistan’s TOLONews on 23 May 2016. Head of Wranga Radio in Kandahar told TOLONews that “local officials in Kandahar […]
  • Afghanistan: Musicologist and Taliban bomb victim returns to Kabul

    On 25 May 2015, the British newspaper The Guardian published an article which brings an update on what happened with Dr Ahmad Sarmast, a music professor who founded the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, and who was seated in the front row when, on 11 December 2014, a suicide bomber attacked the French cultural centre […]
  • Afghanistan: Theatre performance attacked by suicide bomber

    On 11 December 2014 a 17-year-old suicide bomber blew himself up inside a school auditorium in Kabul where a theatre play condemning suicide bombing, ‘Heartbeat: Silence After the Explosion’, was being presented by students of Kabul University’s Cinema and Theatre Department of Fine Art Faculty Several persons were killed by the bomb blast which came […]
  • USA: MTV series documents power of music and art to ignite change

    Launched on 18 November 2013, the weekly series ‘Rebel Music’ on MTV’s collage-channel in the United States, mtvU, documents youth uprising and the power of music and art to ignite change in conflict areas around the world. “Revolution has a sound. Meet a new generation of fearless youth igniting change around the world.” Each of […]
  • Khoshnawaz brothers keep Herat’s music alive

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Khoshnawaz brothers keep Herat’s music aliveThe Khoshnawaz brothers, Herat’s folk musicians who used to perform at weddings, have been exiled to Iran. Five generations of folk music in their family, the brothers only know their rubab, tabla and harmonium. They sing to survive.The independent Afghan culture magazine Lemar – Aftaab has interviewed the […]
  • Afghan TV U-turn on women singers

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Afghan TV U-turn on women singersAfghan state television has gone back on a decision to show female singers, saying the country is not yet ready for such broadcasts. A song by the popular artist, Salma, was shown on Monday, the first time such images were broadcast since 1992. But the programming chief of […]
  • Norway/UK: “My first love was always music”

      NEWS   Video recordings from ‘All that is Banned is Desired’: “My first love was always music” In the session ‘STOP THIS FILTH: ARTISTS UNDER THREATS’, ex-singer Deeyah and actor Arshad Hussain testifies about serious threaths and an actual abduction, a reality faced by some performing artists due to social and cultural pressures in Afghanistan […]
  • Afghanistan: Religious leaders stopped ‘immoral’ eid celebration concert

    NEWS   Afghanistan: Religious leaders stopped ‘immoral’ eid celebration concert An eid celebration concert by the popular young singer Shafiq Mureed was cancelled after local mullahs had labelled his music ‘immoral’, reported Freemuse’s regional network partners in Afghanistan. The city of Herat is one of the most sophisticated and culturally active towns in Afghanistan. A […]
  • Afghanistan: Music is making a comeback

    ARTICLES     Afghanistan: Music is making a comeback   After decades of civil war and the Taliban’s ban on music, Afghanistan is trying to resuscitate music, and the Afghanistan National Institute of Music is one avenue toward that goal, reported Zia Ur Rehman in July 2012. Many musicians fled the country during the Taliban’s […]
  • Afghanistan: Freemuse workshop in Kabul

    NEWS Afghanistan: Freemuse workshop in Kabul At a workshop in Kabul participants from all over the country identified some of the key problems that make life difficult for Afghan musicians and composers. Musicians in Afghanistan continue to face several security problems. The problems are not only related to threats from Taliban but even from warlords. […]
  • Afghanistan: First rock music festival

    NEWS   Afghanistan: First rock music festival   Afghanistan’s first rock music festival, ‘Sound Central – The Central Asian Modern Music Festival’ is an advocacy event for freedom of expression at a critical time. “Sun, peace, and amplifiers”, wrote the organizer of Afghanistan’s first rock music festival as a kind of slogan for the event. […]
  • Afghanistan: They play rock music in Afghanistan – and get away with it

    NEWS 15 August 2011 Afghanistan: They play rock music in Afghanistan – and get away with it “What the hell were you doing in Kabul?” Helo Magazine asked the Kabul-based rock trio White City. The three members of the band originally travelled to Afghanistan as expatriate crisis responders. But life in the Afghan capital called […]
  • Afghanistan: Official sacked over concert with singers without headscarves

    NEWS Afghanistan: Official sacked over concert with singers without headscarves The organiser of a concert where the singers Farzana Naz and Rita Wagma appeared on stage without headscarves was fired after religious elders had complained that this was inappropriate. Farzana Naz was the first female performer to appear on stage in Helmand in decades, one […]
  • Music Freedom Day: Local ownership creates diversity of innovative events

    MUSIC FREEDOM DAY     Marie Korpe, Executive Director of Freemuse: Local ownership to the event develops great diversity of innovative events   Music Freedom Day 2011: An exiled DJ returned to Kabul, music was smuggled out from Burma, and Freemuse visited Cameroon and handed over a much awaited award. Lapiro de Mbanga with the […]
  • Afghanistan: Witnessing a resurge in music

    NEWS Pakistan: Musicians and artists are returning to Swat Valley Pashto music can now be heard in almost every nook and corner of Afghanistan, reported PRlog. Today many Pakistani film makers are coming to Afghanistan to engage Pashto performers and artists for tv serials and movies. Although they are regularly receiving threats from the Taliban […]
  • Afghanistan: Bomb blast at Farhad Darya’s concert

    NEWS Afghanistan: Bomb blast at Farhad Darya’s concert A bomb blast at a concert by Afghanistan’s top singer held in the Westerm city of Herat wounded at least 13 people on 14 September 2010, reported ABC News. Read the full story:   Afghanistan ABC News – 15 September 2010: ‘Bomb blast at Afghan concert injures […]
  • Afghanistan: Music stores have become a new target

    NEWS     Afghanistan: Music stores have become a new target   A string of music stores have become a new target for militants suspected to be Taliban enforcers — even in once-stable havens such as Jalalabad, reported Hashim Shukoor, a special correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers, along with The Guardian’s correspondent Jon Boone. In Jalalabad, […]
  • Somalia: Al-Shabaab bans music like the Taliban

    NEWS     Somalia: Al-Shabaab bans music like the Taliban   Somalia is starting to resemble Afghanistan under the Taliban, where hard-line Islamist militia bans music and movies and forbids the public from watching sports on tv, reported the Associated Press. Events in the past years in the failed state of Somalia indicate that Islamist […]
  • Afghanistan: Protest singer forced into exile after receiving threats

    NEWS     Afghanistan: Protest singer forced into exile after receiving threats   Afghan singer Shakib Mosadeq dared sing songs of political protest, and was subsequently forced to leave his country, reported Global Post on 16 May 2010 “Freedom of speech in Afghanistan is allowed only if the speech remains void of substantial political content,” […]
  • Afghanistan: Ban on women singers debated in Herat

    NEWS Afghanistan: Ban on women singers debated in Herat A Morality and Knowledge Association recently established in Herat wants to ban women’s voices from the airwaves, reported Jean MacKenzie and Rateb Muzhda from Herat The privately owned association has about 60 staffers, says its director, Aminullah Mohtasem, all of whom work voluntarily. Jean MacKenzie and […]
  • Afghanistan and Pakistan: Understanding the Taliban’s campaign against music

    NEWS Afghanistan / Pakistan: Understanding the Taliban’s campaign against music Renowned British ethnomusicologist John Baily and Freemuse executive director Marie Korpe spoke to Radio Liberty correspondent Abubakar Siddique about the Taliban’s campaign against music and musicians in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Excerpts: By Abubakar Siddique, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty correspondent The Taliban justifies their […]
  • Afghanistan: Afghan idol: ‘My life is under threat’

    NEWS     Afghanistan: Afghan idol: ‘My life is under threat’ 20-year-old Lima Sahar charmed her way into the third spot of the 2008 version of the wildly popular ‘Afghan Star’ competition, beating more than 2,000 rivals in votes sent by mobile telephone text message. Now in exile, she fears for her life.   A […]
  • Afghanistan: Music programmes lead to arrest

    NEWS Afghanistan: Music programmes lead to arrest 0n 23 March 2009, Afghanistan’s attorney general office arrested Fahim Kohdamani, the manager of Amroz TV, allegedly for broadcasting “anti-Islamic” and “vulgar” programmes on his music show ‘Biya wa Bibin’ (‘Come and See’).. According the general attorney’s office, he was arrested because of a letter from the Commission […]
  • Afghanistan: Musicians kidnapped by Taliban

    NEWS     Afghanistan: Musicians kidnapped by Taliban A group of six Afghan musicians has been kidnapped by the Taliban for defying a ban on music. This was reported by Agence France-Presse and various news media in Asia and Australia. According to Times of India one of the six musicians abducted on 13 December 2008 […]
  • Afghanistan: Short video about music and ‘community censorship’

    FILM Afghanistan: Stones thrown at female singer In a short documentary video about music and ‘community censorship’ in Afghanistan, the 19-year-old Afghan singer Mariam says she gets verbal abuse all the time as well as stones thrown at her in the street. Even though Mariam is regularly insulted and attacked, and her family wants to stop […]
  • Afghanistan: New media restrictions according to Sharia law

    NEWS     Afghanistan: New media restrictions according to Sharia law On 21 April 2008 the Ministry of Culture and Information in Afghanistan sent out a letter entitled ‘Letter 653’ to all Afghan tv, radio and printed media houses, ordering a new kind of restriction – or self-censorship – in the country’s media. By Samay […]
  • Afghanistan: Restrictions on music discussed in parliament

    NEWS Afghanistan: Restrictions on music discussed in parliament On 1 April 2008 a commission for cultural and religious affairs in Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament suggested to impose new restrictions on music and dance performance in Afghanistan. By Samay Hamed reporting for Freemuse from Kabul The main articles in the proposal from the commission for cultural […]
  • Afghanistan: Singer becomes symbol in the struggle for music freedom

    NEWS     Afghanistan: Young singer becomes symbol in the struggle for music freedom 18-year-old Lima Sahar has placed herself in the middle of Afghanistan’s continous gender and music struggle. She could become the winner of the tv show ‘Afghan Star’ – the war-torn country’s answer to ‘American Idol’ which is drawing millions of viewers […]
  • Afghanistan: Singing ban is illegal, says governor

    NEWS   Afghanistan: Singing ban is illegal, says governor The governor of Balkh province, Ata Mohammed Noor, said that the decision of the religious council to ban singing of young male artists in weddings is illegal. He promised to solve this problem soon. Ata Mohammed Noor’s statement was sent in a message on the occasion […]
  • Sahar Afarin

    Sahar Afarin (Afghanistan)   Sahar Afarin is an up-and-coming star. She had her national break-through in 2006 when she recieved the honourary titles ‘Artist of Radio Television Afghanistan’ and ‘Golden Star of National TV’. Click on the photo two times to start the video.   Flash Player upgrade required   In this interview the 21-year-old […]
  • Safdar Tawakoli

    Safdar Tawakoli(Afghanistan) 25 February 2008 Safdar Tawakoli is a leading Hazara folk singer and dambura player in Afghanistan. Since the 1950’s Tawakoli’s song ‘We are all brothers’ has been famous as a national unity song. It was re-recorded by the singer Farhad Darya in 2002. Wimpy Wasp Player Click on the photo two times to start […]
  • Nairez

    Nairez(Afghanistan) Fazl-u-Rahman Nairez is a famous singer in Afghanistan, mostly known from national tv performances. Nairez was one of the singers who were forced to sing praisal songs for the Taliban regime in 1996-2001. Click on the photo two times to start the video. Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required In this interview Nairez […]
  • Ghazal Ahmadi

    Ghazal Ahmadi(Afghanistan) 25 February 2008 Ghazal Ahmadi is a film actress in Afghanistan, and is also known for performing in music videos. Click on the photo two times to start the video. Wimpy Wasp Player In this interview Ghazal Ahmadi speaks about her experience as a music student who stopped learning how to play the […]
  • Farhad Darya

    Farhad Darya(Afghanistan) 25 February 2008 Farhad Darya is the most famous and best-selling pop singer, music director and composer in Afghanistan. He is known as ‘Voice of Afghan People’ as well as ‘International Voice of Afghanistan’. Regarding the history of music censorship in the country, Farhad Darya’s case is one of the most significant. Wimpy […]
  • Afghanistan – special report: The cage is singing

    SPECIAL REPORT Afghanistan:The cage is singing In-depth report with ten video interviews about music censorship in Afghanistan – past and present By Samay Hamed During the Taliban regime all music was banned in Afghanistan. But even before this dark chapter of Afghan history musicians suffered from censorship. This special report presents 10 unique video interviews […]
  • Zhakfar Hussaini

    ZHAKFAR HUSSAINI(Afghanistan) 25 February 2008 Zhakfar Hussaini was censor in Afghanistan Writers Association in Balkh in 1986-1992. Today he is a poet and a graphic designer. He is also head of Afghanistani PEN’s publication section. Click on the photo two times to start the video.  Wimpy Wasp Player In this interview Zhakfar Hussaini explains the […]
  • Fazl-u-Rahman Wahdat

    Fazl-u-Rahman Wahdat (Afghanistan) Fazl-u-Rahman Wahdat is a famous Pashto folk singer from the south of Afghanistan. He is a board member of Afghanistan Music Union, and has been working for Radio Television Afghanistan since 1978. Click on the photo two times to start the video. Flash Player upgrade required   In this interview Fazl-u-Rahman Wahdat […]
  • Baktash Kamran

    Baktash Kamran (Afghanistan) Baktash Kamran is a lead singer in his own band, Kamran Music Group, famous amongst young Afghans. Baktash Kamran is the son of the popular Afghan comedian, Haji Mohammad Kamran. Click on the photo two times to start the video. Flash Player upgrade required   In this interview Baktash Kamran speaks about […]
  • Aziz Ghaznawi

      Aziz Ghaznawi (Afghanistan)     Aziz Ghaznawi is an authority on music administration in Afghanistan. Aziz Ghaznawi is also a singer, and his songs have been broadcasted on air since 1965. He was employed by Radio Afghanistan in 1968 where, during a period, he was head of the music production department.     Click […]
  • Aiab Gul Delshad

    Aiab Gul Delshad(Afghanistan) Aiab Gul Delshad is the head of Afghanistan’s Music Union, and also a famous folk singer. He started working with Radio Afghanistan in 1950. Aiab Gul Delshad was arrested once, and imprisoned and tortured another time, because of a few words in two song lyrics. Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required […]
  • Afghanistan / UK: Film festival celebrates banned music

    NEWS     Afghanistan / UK: Film festival celebrates banned music A film festival entitled ‘Reel Afghanistan’ celebrates the Afghan art form which was banned by the Taliban: music. A concert featuring two bands, Kharabat and Qawali Sham Sufi, takes place on 24 February in Edinburgh. When the Taliban ransacked Afghanistan’s national film archives, some […]
  • Afghanistan: Female musicians put their lives in danger

    ARTICLE 15 January 2008 Afghanistan:Female musicians put their lives in danger A report from a music school in Kabul, published in San Francisco Chronicle, is a story about the kind of difficulties and dangers female musicians face in present day Afghanistan. They must practice music under cover, work in secret, and be careful to protect […]
  • Afghanistan: Broadcast of Colombian singer censored

    NEWS Afghanistan: Broadcast of Colombian singer censored A performance by the Colombian pop star Shakira has provoked a row between the Afghan government and the country’s independent media, reports Tom Coghlan from Kabul for the British newspaper Daily Telegraph Senior Muslim clerics and members of Afghanístan’s Ministry of Culture warned the country’s largest private television […]
  • Afghanistan: Famed exiled singer returned after 18 years

    NEWS     Afghanistan: Famed exiled singer returned after 18 years One of “Afghanistan’s living treasures”, singer Farida Mahwash stepped foot in Afghanistan for the first time in almost two decades to give a series of benefit concerts in Kabul, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif in October 2007, reported San Francisco Chronicle “I’ll have programs there and […]
  • Afghanistan: Bomb hits music shop

    NEWS     Afghanistan: Bomb hits music shop A bomb exploded in a music shop in a small town in Eastern Afghanistan and hurt the shopkeeper, an official said to AFP The official said that the attack on the music shop may have been carried out by Taliban extremists who say secular music is un-Islamic […]
  • Afghanistan: Wedding musicians out of work because of religious ban

    NEWS     Afghanistan: Wedding musicians out of work because of religious ban Musicians in the Balkh province are out of work since a new fatwa – a ban – was issued on wedding parties by a religious council In mid-July 2007, the Ulema Shura – the religious council – in the northern province of […]
  • 3rd Freemuse World Conference – report

    FREEMUSE REPORT 20 August 2007 Marie Korpe (ed.)MUSIC WILL NOT BE SILENCED – 3rd Freemuse World Conference on Music & Censorship, Istanbul 25-26. November 2006Report no. 8Freemuse, Copenhagen, 2007ISSN: 1601-2127.   75 pages. Read the reportThe printed version of the report is unfortunately out of stock. MUSIC WILL NOT BE SILENCED INTRODUCTIONBy Ole Reitov Listening to many […]
  • Afghanistan: Music download shop attacked, two killed

    NEWS Afghanistan: Music download shop attacked, two killed Two people were killed and several wounded by a bomb that exploded in a music download shop in Afghanistan’s southeastern town of Khost on 22 April 2007 A bomb blast in a mobile telephone shop where residents regularly download music into their mobile phones, two men were […]
  • Pakistan: Fear and persecution follows Afghan musicians

    ARTICLE Pakistan: Fear and persecution follows Afghan musicians Fear and persecution forced them to leave Afghanistan. Now it is haunting them in north-west Pakistan. Islamists’ continous attacks on music centres send fear across the region and make the Afghan singers living in Peshawar feel insecure. They experience lack of job opportunities, and are on the […]
  • Pakistan: Fine for playing music in taxi, music shop attacked

    NEWS Pakistan: Fine for playing music in taxi Having banned music in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, the Taliban are now imposing a fine of 500 rupees for any one playing it in public, reports several news agencies Taxi drivers complain that even possession of a CD player in their vehicles is enough to invite […]
  • Video interviews from the 3rd Freemuse World Conference

    | Start page | Media coverage | Speakers | Programme | Photos |  3rd FREEMUSE WORLD CONFERENCE ON MUSIC AND CENSORSHIP VIDEO INTERVIEWSfrom the conference in Istanbul, 25-26 November 2006 Fadal Dey – singer from Côte d’Ivoire Grup Yorum – music group from Turkey Jason Carter – British guitarist about Saudi Arabia Jeroen de Kloet – Dutch researcher about China Mario Masvidal – professor from […]
  • Mirwaiss Sidiqi: Music in Afghanistan 2006

    MIRWAISS SIDIQI (Afghanistan) Mirwaiss Sidiqi of the Aga Khan Music Initiative for Central Asia works with music education in Afghanistan. In this interview he speaks about the present situation concerning music in Afghanistan – as it appeared by the end of 2006 – and also more generally about the power of music. Flash Player upgrade […]
  • Programme of the 3rd Freemuse World Conference

    | Start page | Media coverage | Speakers | Photos | Video interviews |   3rd Freemuse World Conference on Music and Censorship   CONFERENCE PROGRAMME Latest update on 16 November 2006  SATURDAY 25 NOV   10:00 – 10:30 — OPENING CEREMONY —   MUSICAL WELCOME Mahsa Vahdat & Marjan Vahdat, Singers, Iran   WELCOME […]
  • Afghanistan: Fewer music prohibitions on religious grounds

    NEWS Afghanistan:Fewer music prohibitions on religious grounds According to a new report from U.S. Department of State conditions for music in Afghanistan are improving. The Afghan government rejects claims that Afghan authorities should have issued a list of restrictions on broadcasting in June 2006  The broadcasting restriction case is mentioned in a report which was released on […]
  • Afghanistan: Singing about women critised by imam

    NEWS Afghanistan:Singing about women critised by imam According to The Times’ correspondent in Kabul, Afghan DJ Besho has been criticised by an influential cleric among Afghanistan’s religious élite In public, few Afghans are willing to question the authority of the clergy or the inviolability of Islamic law. As such, it can have a significant influence […]
  • Afghanistan: Interview with Jamshid Matin X

    ARTICLES Afghanistan:“They may actually kill me”Presenting music on tv in Afghanistan can be a dangerous job. Recently, one tv presenter was killed, and two others had to go in exile. This is an interview with Jamshid Matin X – a presenter and producer for a daily music show and a Top 10 music show on […]
  • Afghanistan: First female music performance in a decade

    NEWS Afghanistan: First female music performance in a decade As the first female singer to take to the stage in Afghanistan in more than a decade, Tajik singer Maniza Daulat performed for 1,500 male fans in Kabul. Afghanistan’s host of female singers, most of whom live overseas, are still reluctant to take to the stage, […]
  • Afghanistan: Strict self-censorship on Afghan music tv

    NEWS Afghanistan:Strict self-censorship on Afghan music tv “If I play that, I’ll get a letter the next day. Then, I’m out,” television producer Jamshid Matin told the Journal News on a visit in USA in November, 2005. Now back in Kabul, Jamshid was interviewed by Freemuse.By Ole Reitov, Freemuse How do you see the limits […]
  • Afghan Children CD: ‘Alocha’

    NEWS   Afghan Children CD: ‘Alocha’ Freemuse and Rebelle Records have supported the ever first production of a CD by and for Afghan children. It was recorded in Hamburg, where Hadia Rastagar and her German classmates sing 15 songs arranged by Farid Rastagar. The 15 songs CD has received massive coverage through Afghan and international […]
  • Afghanistan: Tolo TV wins Reporters Without Borders’ yearly prize

    NEWS Afghanistan: Tolo TV wins Reporters Without Borders’ yearly prize This year’s winner of ‘2005 Reporters Without Borders – Fondation de France Prize’  is Afghanistan’s main privately-owned TV station, Tolo TV. It was founded by an Afghan-Australian media group, Moby Capital Partners, and broadcasts very independent news and music programmes that contrast with the dry style […]
  • Afghanistan: Bittersweet success of secret girl band

    ARTICLES Afghanistan: Bittersweet success of secret girl band The Afghan girl group, ‘Burka Band,’ continues to receive media attention and draw new fans, even though they are no longer active. The names of the three female band members remain secret to ensure their security. They are labelled “Afghanistan’s first serious pop band since the fall […]
  • Afghanistan: Seven musicians killed by gunmen

    NEWS Afghanistan: Seven musicians killed by gunmenThe popular singer Qhurban Nazar and six musicians have been killed by gunmen in northern Afghanistan, reports BBC News The singer Qhurban Nazar (also referred to as Qorban or Quarab) and six members of his orchestra was sprayed with bullets and killed as they were returning by car from a wedding party in north-western province […]
  • Afghanistan: music tv presenter receives asylum in Sweden

    NEWS Afghanistan: TV music show presenter receives asylum in Sweden On September 5, 2005, a refugee nightmare for the Afghan TV music show presenter Shakeb Isaar came to an end when he received the news that the Swedish authorities has accepted his application for asylum, giving him the rights to live and work in Sweden. “The paper from Freemuse and also […]
  • Afghanistan: Musicians unite against censorship

    NEWS Afghanistan: Musicians unite against censorship 130 Afghans have established a new musician’s organisation, the Afghanistan Music Foundation, with the objective of creating unification among musicians in the country – and to fight against music censorship and oppression of musicians Text and video by Mik Aidt, journalist & Freemuse’s web editorPhotos by Hafizullah Haidar, CSHRN staff […]
  • Afghanistan: Wajiha Rastagar

    WAJIHA RASTAGAR(Afghanistan) The two wings against music censorship Wajiha Rastagar is one of the most famous Afghan female singers. Dr Samay Hamed talks with Wajiha Rastagar about her first steps towards music, how she became a singer, and how she sees the present situation in Afghanistan today An obvious symbol of freedom and change? If […]
  • Afghanistan: 24-year-old female presenter of music show killed

    NEWS 19 May 2005 Young TV music show presenter killed in KabulOn May 18, 2005, TV presenter Shaima Rezayee, 24, was shot in Kabul by unknown men. Her killing is possibly linked to her presenting of the music show ‘Hop’ on Tulo TV. Two months earlier, she had been dismissed from the show after it […]
  • Abdul Samay Hamed: Censorship conference in Afghanistan

    INTERVIEW Dr. Abdul Samay Hamed Dr. Hamed was facilitator of the first national conference on music and censorship in Afghanistan, held in the capital Kabul in April 2005. In this 3-minutes interview he explains about the outcome of the conference. Dr. Hamed is a renowned poet in Afghanistan. Apart from being a doctor, he is also a […]
  • Breaking the Silence: Afghanistan documentary out on DVD

    NEWS Breaking the Silence: Afghanistan documentary out on DVDUnder the Taliban regime in Afghanistan musical instruments were destroyed and burned. The only music allowed was unaccompanied Taliban chants. Breaking the Silence was shot in Kabul just after the fall of the Taliban regime and portrays, among other things, the first concerts in the bombed-out city. Simon […]
  • Afghanistan pulls cable channels

    NEWS Afghanistan pulls cable channelsCable TV channels showing raunchy Bollywood movies and foreign music videos have – again – been taken off air in Afghanistan by the government. Viewers have been able to watch foreign channels, including much-loved Indian films, since the Taleban fell in 2001. Bollywood movies were banned under the hardline Taleban rulers.Cable […]
  • Shoot the Singer! – table of contents

    SHOOT THE SINGER ! TABLE OF CONTENTS Shoot the Singer! Music Censorship Today table of contents one | Introduction1 What is music censorship? Towards a better understanding of the termMartin Cloonan 2 Music as a parallel power structureAlenka Barber-Kersovan 3 Music as a useless activity: conservative interpretations of music in IslamJonas Otterbeck two | Asia4 […]
  • Musicians claim police harassment

    NEWS Musicians claim police harassmentPakistani musicians living near the country’s border with Afghanistan have complained they are being harassed by hardliners attempting to stamp out music and movies.Story from BBC Related reading Read more:
  • Aghan police beat musicians defying ban

    NEWS Aghan police beat musicians defying ban Police beat two Afghan musicians and threatened to bomb their office for violating a local ban on music reminiscent of that imposed by the former Taliban regime, a state-controlled newspaper reported today. The Anis Daily quoted the musicians as saying the incident occurred on Monday night at a […]
  • Ethnomusicological research in Afghanistan: Past, present, and future

    NEWS Ethno musicological research in Afghanistan: Past, present, and futureExtensive article by John Baily on musical life in Afghanistan.Article (PDF) Related reading MALI
  • Breaking the Silence: Music in Afghanistan

    NEWS Breaking the Silence: Music in AfghanistanUnder the Taliban regime in Afghanistan musical instruments were destroyed and burned. The only music allowed was unaccompanied Taliban chants. Breaking the Silence was shot in Kabul just after the fall of the Taliban regime and portrays, among other things, the first concerts in the bombed-out city. ‘Breaking the […]
  • U.S. Funding Effort to Preserve Afghan Music

    NEWS U.S. Funding Effort to Preserve Afghan MusicThe Freemuse report on music censorship in Afghanistan is believed to be one of the main sources behind a U.S. preservation grant.The grant, provided by the State Department’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, has launched a project to record the music of respected Afghan musicians now residing in […]
  • Afghanistan: The hills are alive

    NEWS The hills are aliveNo sooner had the Taliban left Kabul than the city resounded to the beat and keening melodies of Indian and Iranian songs, together with the long-hidden favourites of the Afghan popular canon. Music-kiosk merchants whipped out their bootlegged cassettes and pushed aside the only kind of music the Taliban allowed: unaccompanied male […]
  • A culture muted

    NEWS A culture mutedIn December 1998 an official notice was placed in a local newspaper in the city of Herat in western Afghanistan. It reported that a “number of unlawful instruments and goods” had been collected and publicly burned. The inventory included televisions, cassette players and VCRs and thousands of tapes. The list also included […]
  • Press launch: Afghanistan report launched in London

    AFGHANISTAN REPORT LAUNCHED IN LONDON On Tuesday 24th April 2001 Freemuse launched its very first report; “Can you stop the birds singing?” – The censorship of music in Afghanistan, written by Dr. John Baily.The launch took place at London’s Kufa Gallery in cooperation with International PEN and attracted quite some interest from the media; several […]
  • Afghanistan report launch: welcome speeches

    AFGHANISTAN REPORT LAUNCH – WELCOME SPEECHES##PageSearchDescription## 1 May 2001 The launch took place in cooperation with International PEN and attracted quite some interest from the media; several BBC units, Associated Press, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and others were present. Read more about the launch Read welcome speeches byMoris FarhiMarie Korpe Read the report Welcome speech by Mr. […]
  • Freemuse report on censorship of music in Afghanistan

    FREEMUSE REPORT 01 May 2001 John Baily “Can you stop the birds singing?” – The censorship of music in Afghanistan Freemuse, Copenhagen, April 2001, ISSN 1601-2127 Dr. John Baily is a reader in Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths College, London, and one of the worlds’ leading experts on Afghan music. Read abstract Read the report Purchase on-line […]
  • Afghanistan: The talibans have banned all music

    SPEECHES Afghanistan: The talibans have banned all music Speech by Mr. Naim Majrouh, at the 1st Freemuse World conference in 1998   Ladies and Gentlemen! In the last 20 years due to war, political and social instability, disorder and lawlessness many aspects of our culture have been devastated. Museums have been looted, libraries have been […]
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