The US-based Funders’ Network for Afghan Women and the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee have worked together over the past two years to create a visual portrayal of an unknown side of the Afghan conflict, in a touring exhibit that will see its Canadian launch this weekend. The Unsung Heroes of Afghanistan Exhibit, through 18 portraits, tells the stories of Afghan men and women fighting to rebuild their communities.
The portraits highlight a diverse array of Afghan “movers and shakers”, largely unknown to the Western world who, away from the limelight, work day-in and day-out for a better future for Afghanistan.
“We invited Afghans to nominate their heroes through an open process publicized in the Afghan media in 2008,” explains CASC Senior Advisor Lauryn Oates, “the Heroes come from a variety of different civil society communities and are the backbone behind different social justice movements in Afghanistan: for human rights, for gender equity, for poverty relief, for cultural revitalization, for healing and health, for the right to education, for a free media, and for a vibrant, independent civil society.” The exhibit was made possible thanks to funding from the Flora Family Foundation to the Funders’ Network for Afghan Women.
The exhibit’s writer, CASC co-founder Terry Glavin, explains the rationale behind the project: “In the West, we are inundated with images of war and suffering from Afghanistan, and rarely do we get to know the success stories, or about how Afghans are taking their future into their own hands. These heroes, from entrepreneurial farmers to teachers and soccer players, are the frontline fighters in Afghanistan’s struggle for peace, democracy and equal rights.”
The exhibit opened in New York in December 2009 and makes its Canadian debut at the BC Teachers’ Federation Annual General Meeting (March 6-9), and will be on public display for the first time, in Ottawa on the evening of March 9th at the National Archives Hall. The exhibit will continue to be hosted in cities across North America throughout 2010.
Take a virtual tour of the exhibit and meet the Heroes here:
Keep up to date on exhibit locations and dates throughout 2011 by visiting this website.
2011 Tour Schedule
Lancaster Chapter Dinner of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) March 1-
21, 2011, Lancaster, PA (USA)
International Women’ s Day Celebration, by Women of Hope Project, March 8, 2011, Frederick, MD
Afghan Film Festival, Winnipeg, Manitoba, to March 31, 2011
Nawruz Celebration, Tufts University, Boston, MA
A Day for Afghanistan, Woodlawn Public Library, Dartmouth, NS, May 7. Info:
Public Presentation, Afghanistan: Building Peace Through Education and Literacy, Confederation Centre
Public Library, Charlottetown, PEI, May 12 Info: 902 368-4642
Upcoming Locations - Watch for Details Coming Soon!