Update: As part of Campaign to Protect Afghan Musicans & we are working to help musicians/artists and families at risk in Afghanistan and the Resettlement Scheme in Northern Ireland. This page has links to related news, past and current projects linked with Afghanistan.
Beyond Skin are working with ICFAM as a founding member of the Campaign to Protect Afghan Musicians. We are combining fundraising and distribution in parallel with exit efforts for international resettlement.
International https://www.icfam.info UK https://afghanmusicians.wordpress.com A series of concerts are planned. Northern Ireland announced soon.
Musician/Artists at Risk Resettlement Scheme Northern Ireland webpage Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A call for expression of interest to the Creative sector regarding placements (form link) and the public for opening up their homes on for a temporary period to house one or more people arriving from Afghanistan (form link).
(Shorlisted UK 2021 Project of The Year)
An international partnership developed by Beyond Skin and Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), home of the Afghan Women’s Orchestra also known as Ensemble Zohra.
As part of the programme current & former students from ANIM are collaborating with young female musicians in Northern Ireland including members of Traditonal Arts Partnership.
The project is supported by WOMAD Foundation, Arts Council Northern Ireland Lottery Programme, Community Relations Council, Factor Law and individual donors. To date the associate organisations/companies in the consortium include Yallaa, Unique New Adventure Ltd, Traditional Arts Partnership & 3FortyFive Films.
In 2016 Darren Ferguson (founder & CEO Beyond Skin) and Dr Ahmad Sarmast (founder and director of Afghanistan National Institute of Music) met in Bogota Colombia sharing a talk at a conference titled ‘music to unlearn war” The conference was in partnership with Batuta Foundation and British Council. Darren & Ahmad stayed in touch with a Northern Ireland visit always in the conversation.
In September 2017 Beyond Skin invited Dr Sarmast’s to Northern Ireland. His visit included guest speaker at Mount Stewart conversations festival visiting various youth groups and meeting other members of the #ArtsDialogue collective. an international intergenerational team of musicians, artists, producers, writers & peace activists. www.artsdialogue.org
In 1996, the Taliban banned music in Aghanistan. Those found playing or selling it were imprisoned and tortured with many musicians fleeing the country. During the 30-year civil war, cultural institutions were decimated.
In 2001 from exile in Australia, musicologist Ahmad Sarmast started negotiating the rebuilding of music education with the Afghan government. Returning to Kabul, he inaugurated the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) in 2010 under the patronage of the Ministry of Education. ANIM provides a dynamic, challenging, and safe learning environment for all students regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religious sect, or socio-economic circumstances. ANIM focus especially on supporting the most disadvantaged children in Afghanistan – orphans, street-working vendors and girls.
In 2014, a young trumpeter called Meena asked Dr Sarmast if she and her friends could form an all-girl ensemble. They wanted to play music on their own and develop their own style of playing and repertoire. Since one of ANIM’s great focuses is girls’ education, Dr Sarmast was thrilled by the idea. So, the Afghan Women’s Orchestra (AKA Ensemble Zohra) was born. It is the first ever all – female ensemble in the history of Afghanistan.