Helena Zeweri, Zelikha Shoja, and Hawa Amin-Arsala: Emergent Archives of Afghan Diasporic Memory

This event will be presented online only, as a Zoom webinar.

Artist Zelikha Shoja and writer Hawa Arsala will discuss the power of storytelling in transforming and reimagining community identity. The panelists will examine how visual art and writing serve as unique mediums to engage with themes of ancestral identity, diasporic memory, and oral traditions of storytelling. In doing so, the discussion will explore how written and visual stories can create counter-archives to dominant representations of Afghan life. In situating these narratives as emergent, this discussion will also reference recent events in Afghanistan and their resonance for visual artists and writers in the diaspora, including the new forms of political consciousness they inspire. First, each panelist will give a brief presentation on their creative practices, followed by a panel discussion led by cultural anthropologist Helena Zeweri. Students will have an opportunity to engage with these themes by reviewing the work of the panelists prior to the class as well as asking questions at the end of the discussion.