Today we first went to visit the new city of Omid-e Sabz. It is located improbably far from the city center, about 10 minutes drive West of Darulaman Palace, and close to the southeastern rim of Dasht-e Barchi.
Today I guided a Dutch architect researching urban developments in Kabul. After fixing the roaming internet connection on his Apple computer in a record time – praise be to the helpfulness and tech savviness of Afghan shopowners – we drove up TV mountain to take some pictures. He had the good camera, I my phone. The weather was heavily overcast with occasional sunbursts.
De Appel is the intellectual powerhouse of Amsterdam’s art world – or maybe it isn’t anymore, but it still has that reputation. It’s a non-commercial art space that offers a high-level (and world-renown) curatorial program, as well as a study program for gallery staff, it is the place to present contemporary art prizes and projects, and it organizes about 4-5 exhibitions a year.
De Appel is now looking for a director. This is my open application.
Below is the full English version text of Dostum’s apology, read on 7 October 2013. I edited the translation, using the Dari original of the speech to ensure it corresponds closely.
The apology created a huge commotion, as it is the first of its kind. Dostum encourages other warlords to apologize too, noting he has taken the first step (pishqadami). Reactions from across the (social) media were very positive. Continue reading
Today I took a few hours off work to visit the master kite maker, Nur Agha, son of Bejo, the famous Kabuli kite maker. Continue reading
Kabul, 2 October 2013
Over the past few days I’ve seen many of my friends that I worked with during my years as founder and director of the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society (2003-2006); in many cases I gave them one of their first proper jobs. In the generous, effusive friendship they now offer me, each of them credits me for their current success as their ‘teacher’. Continue reading
I curated this small exhibition (27-29 September 2013), whose only ambition was to document the two months residency of Ibrahim Abumsmar in Paris – whence the simple title, ‘A Saudi Artist in Paris’. It turned out quite nice.
Below are the wall texts (in French) interspersed with some photographs. More information including links to The Window, the artist and his gallery (Athr) can be found on the previous post ‘A Saudi Artist in Paris‘. Continue reading
Ibrahim Abumsmar is an artist specializing in minimalist sculpture with a sociopolitical message. He hails from the Asir, the mountainous southwestern region of Saudi Arabia. After participating in exhibitions in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar, Italy and Istanbul, Ibrahim is now completing a two-month residency at the Cité des Arts in Paris. Continue reading
My contribution to the “Art Trafficking and Restitution” roundtable
organized by Walk of Truth at the Peace Palace in The Hague
16 September 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the late 1970s, when Kabul was still known as a stop on the hippy trail, the city’s museum boasted one of the richest collections of Asia. It spanned from the early Indus valley civilizations to the highlights of Islamic civilization, from Roman glass to Indian ivories; indeed Afghanistan had been the cradle of Zoroastrianism and highly syncretic cultures such as Hellenic Buddhism, producing highly developed art forms unique to this area.
I will describe the actions a few individuals undertook to preserve the most valuable parts of the collection of the National Museum of Afghanistan for posterity. This allowed us all to see the magnificent exhibition of the National Treasures of Afghanistan, in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam or elsewhere in the world. I have a few books here for those interested