“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” - Joel A. Barker
Against the odds, Mountain2Mountain completed 5 public exhibitions and 2 photo stagings at historic sites over the past two weeks in Afghanistan.
The first was a staging at Kabul’s historic Darulamon Palace.
The show with the most smiles, jokes, and community engagement was in the village of Istalif.
The biggest was at Barbur Gardens in Kabul where over 1000 Afghans came through on the second day of Eid.
But the most poignant was perhaps at Massoud’s Tomb in Panjshir on a hilltop surrounded by mountains overlooking the valley.
Additional shows at the Kabul Zoo, and the Women’s Garden, and a final show at the US Embassy in conjunction with a rooftop rock concert with Afghan metal band, District Unknown to celebrate Daniel Pearl round off an amazingly successful series of exhibitions that made my heart happy to see a four year endeavor come to fruition in such a powerful way.
In the end, the goal was to show that art has a place in a conflict zones. That Afghans deserve the same access to art and beauty that we all crave. That shows like this can be done safely and publicly in Afghanistan, and should. Art has the power to inspire and create a ripple of change that resonates through communities. Public art serves the purpose of bringing art out of private places and into public spaces among people that are least likely to engage with art.
The space for art in Afghanistan emerging with graffiti artists, rock musicians, and a beautiful addition of Kabul to the worldwide global project Inside Out by JR. Step by step this country can be more than it is today – and art and voice play heavily in engaging community and combating apathy. It was such an honor to be part of this emerging community of artists and dreamers.
photos by Di Zinno