Countering fragmentation – Why do we look at the past?

26 November, 2023
– 26 November, 2023
12 – 3pm
Waterlow Park Centre, Dartmouth Park Hill, London, N19 5JF, UK
Image details: Collage by Moshtari Hilal

Countering fragmentation is a conversation series curated by AVAH Collective that seeks to bring together what was once scattered. 

In this session led by Bismellah Alizada and Parwana Haydar we invite people from Afghanistan and the diaspora for a conversation on why we look at the past. Why is it important (if at all)? What are the stories we seek to find, whose stories are represented, and who has told them? In what ways may this shape the way we understand ourselves and our present? The history of Afghanistan, like any other society, has more than one truth and a complex array of actors. To many, the dominant interpretation, with strong colonial hues, fails to make perfect sense as does the perspectives of the ruling class to those driven into the peripheries.

Refreshments will be provided. 

Bismellah Alizada is a Ph.D. Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant at SOAS University of London. His overall research interest includes decentralisation, political settlements, post-conflict institutional design, political participation, ethnic politics, and conflict. Bismellah holds a Master of Science degree in Violence, Conflict, and Development from SOAS and an undergraduate degree in political science and diplomacy from Kabul University. Mr. Alizada co-founded Rahila Foundation, an organization working for youth empowerment through education, and capacity building. His articles have appeared on Al Jazeera English, The Diplomat, Global Voices, and the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) in New Delhi. He has also co-translated into Persian the book China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Parwana Haydar is a London-based filmmaker and curator. She is a graduate of Other Cinemas film school and of South London Gallery’s REcreative film school. She is a member of the Afghan Visual Arts and History Collective (AVAH) an independent curatorial research collective and multimedia platform that highlights art coming from Afghanistan and its diaspora. She has curated film screenings with Derry Void Gallery in Ireland, Independent Cinema Office at the BFI in London and most recently with the traveling cinema Terassen in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her own film and video work explore the gaps between realism, surrealism and the speculative.


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