The Art Gallery is very pleased to present Art Amongst War: Visual Culture in Afghanistan, 1979 – 2014, an interdisciplinary exhibition and series of five public programs that will examine the effects of 35 years of war in Afghanistan on the visual culture of the country.
The year 2014 marks 35 years since the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. From that point onwards the country has been in an almost constant state of armed conflict, and there is now an entire generation of adults for whom war is the primary lived experience of their country. This year is also the scheduled withdrawal date of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Despite, or perhaps because of, thirteen years of direct military, political, and humanitarian engagement with Afghanistan, the majority of Americans view Afghanistan as a dusty, barren, and broken land, a view constructed from the images encountered in the commercial news media. TCNJ’s exhibition and programs seek to widen, complicate, and enrich the public’s view of Afghanistan and to probe the cultural effects of long-term war. It addresses two broad questions: What has 35 years of war done to the culture of Afghanistan? And, how do people employ culture to respond to the traumas of war?
TCNJ’s multi-media exhibition features contemporary video art, installation pieces, photographs, paintings, and drawings, as well as traditional Afghan crafts, including embroidery and war rugs, which incorporate emblems of armed conflict such as guns, tanks, and war planes. Artists in the exhibition include Lida Abdul, Rada Akbar, Roqia Alavi, Gulbuddin Elham, Abul Qasem Foushanji, Mariam Ghani, Moshtari Hilal, Mariam Nabil Kamal, Aref Karimi, Zahra Orna Kazemi, Aman Mojadidi, Najibullah Musafer, Rahraw Omarzad, Abdullah Shayagan, Zolaykha Sherzad, Amin Taasha, and Mohsin Wahidi.
For full information about programming related to Art Amongst War, please visit the Program page here.
Art Amongst War is funded in part by a grant from The New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as a grant from the College’s Cultural and Intellectual Community Program.