A very effective way of eliminating the mental and social effects of war in post-war societies is to revive the culture of dialogue among different ethnic and communities to help them to remove all negative pre-assumptions, tags and misunderstandings, also promoting a social and cultural context for different kinds of artistic activities such as painting, drawing, calligraphy, graffiti, photography, storytelling, music and singing to encourage people to tell their untold stories and to admit their obsessions. Initiating cultural dialogues and providing opportunities for victims to express their pains, helps them to recover from their mental wounds.
Ipso’s cultural container, in Shibrghan city is a center for promoting cultural activities, cultural dialogue, discovering, supporting, training and encouraging new talents in artistic and cultural contexts. During the last year, the center achieved to be socially well accepted and provided lots of opportunities for young people interested in art and culture and helped them to discover and flourish their potential talents.
The annual event was full of art and cultural activities including a painting exhibition, a theater play, patriotic and local music and vocal songs. At least 150 artworks were displayed in the exhibition representing different artists. The artworks included oil paintings, miniatures, drawings and calligraphy mostly focusing on social and historical topics of tolerance, peace and tranquility among the different ethnics and communities.
“Whatever I have in my imagination and any good message I have for my people, I can express through my artworks,” said Mohammad Tahir Sarwari.
Dozens of visitors attended the event and visited the exhibition. They appreciated the artists and encouraged them to continue with their creative and meaningful activities. Most songs sang during the event were patriotic, calling for unity, peace and tolerance, based on “common fate and common history of one common country”.
“Our diverse and beautiful culture is not only contributing to building our national identity but also it is our main asset which brings up our new generation. Such events, inspire, encourage and lead our youngsters to a much better future,” said Khojasta Qiyam, who is an engineer and was one of the participants. She also said that these initiatives provided a better chance to female artists to be part of arts and cultural activities in Afghanistan.
“It seems that all kinds of local music are suffering from a very challenging stagnancy.” said Hayatullah, a local singer from Jawzjan. Many local artists, particularly singers and musicians, are complaining that the current expanding extremism does not allow them to perform in any places outside of Shebrghan city.
“Programs like this event, present a big diversity of different ethnics and communities in customs, clothing, arts and music of Afghanistan,” a man said and continued: “I am from Ghazni province and ethnically Hazara. I enjoyed a Turkman boy playing dutar, which performed here and attracted many visitors’ attention and appreciation. Today, I had very happy moments.”