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Unfolding projects: Afghan and Australian artist’s books collaborations

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conference contribution
posted on 2024-06-17, 12:24 authored by G Weiss, B Kameniar
In August 2009 an email was circulated to a number of Australian women artists with an offer to participate in a project of dialogue with women in Afghanistan. The project grew as a response to the dire situation of many women in Afghanistan, particularly in relation to education; many women are illiterate because they were and often still are, forbidden, restricted, or discouraged from attending school. By April 2010, 53 artists’ books by 14 women artists from various parts of Australia were delivered to Afghanistan, thereby beginning a process of creative collaboration between women situated in different places, cultures, and languages, attempting a productive connection through image and text. Each artist had created a small series of concertinas of imagery consistent with her current studio practice, which were then delivered to Afghanistan and distributed amongst women participating in literacy education. The women were asked to relate to the images by writing their own words directly within. The general intent was for the concertinas to be sent back to Australia, then bound and exhibited to raise public awareness, and possibly sold to raise funds. The artistic intent, however, was not the fundraising aspect as much as to take part in a process of support and dialogue with women in Afghanistan. It was a manoeuvre that said 'you are not alone'. The aim was to mobilise a conversation of sorts through the visuality and materiality of the artist’s book, despite the limitations of cultural, experiential, and physical distance. Just over six months from their delivery to Afghanistan, 36 of the 53 books returned to Australia, each marked with handwritten stories and poems in Dari and Pashto. This paper discusses the processes and considerations involved in the project, and the partnership formed with SAWA-Australia (Support Association for the Women of Afghanistan).

History

Pagination

496-503

Location

Melbourne, Victoria

Open access

  • Yes

Start date

2011-09-27

End date

2011-09-30

ISBN-13

9781921867569

Language

eng

Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2013, Monash University Publishing

Editor/Contributor(s)

Morgan L

Title of proceedings

Impact 7 : Proceedings of International Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking Conference: Intersections and Counterpoints 2014

Event

Impact 7 International Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking. Conference (2014: Melbourne, Victoria)

Publisher

Monash University Publishing.

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Series

Intersections and Counterpoints

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