Foremost among the Taliban’s targets are artists. To allow the exile of those who are today in a dramatic situation in Kabul, stranded at the airport or hidden in the city, initiatives have been developing in France, in absolute urgency, since August 15 and the capture of the city by the Taliban.

That these condemn artistic expression was demonstrated in particular by blood, when, on December 11, 2014, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the audience gathered in the auditorium of the Institut français d’Afghanistan, during a theatrical performance of the Azdar troupe. It was created on the initiative of Guilda Chahverdi, Franco-Iranian director and actress.

In 2019, in the company of film historian Agnès Devictor, she is the curator of the exhibition “Kharmohra, Afghanistan at the risk of art”, which is held at MuCEM, in Marseille, and brings together 11 Afghan artists. . At this date, most of them live in the country. ” It’s them, says Agnès Devictor, who warned us in June. They saw the situation deteriorate very quickly and, for the first time, they wanted to leave with their families. “

The two curators then embarked on the quest for visas, with the support of Jean-François Chougnet, director of MuCEM, and in collaboration with L’Atelier des artistes en exil, created in 2017 by Judith Depaule and Ariel Cypel. “We asked the French state to grant visas to five artists [de l’exposition], specifies Guilda Chahverdi, and three members of the Azdar Theater who were on stage at the time of the 2014 attack. ”

The list keeps growing

Since August 15, the list continues to grow and Guilda Chahverdi spends her days on the phone between Kabul and the French administrations. The news that she and Agnès Devictor are reporting is getting worse and worse. Those who had taken refuge at the French embassy in the secure “green zone” were forced by Afghan guards to leave on the night of August 17-18.

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Meanwhile, many cultural institutions in the region have joined MuCEM. Among them are the FRAC PACA, Aix-Marseille University, the Théâtre de la Criée, the Friche la Belle-de-Mai, but also the Villa Arson in Nice and several festivals. By declaring themselves ready to welcome refugees, they make it possible to submit complete visa applications. Simultaneously, an online subscription is open, who had already collected, Wednesday, August 18 in the morning, more than 73,000 euros.

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