October 23,2009 – Witness to War: Afghan Poetry and Narratives
Center for Place, Culture and Politics presents an evening of readings from Afghan American writers. These pieces are by survivors, those who escaped, those who returned, those haunted, those who have suffered loss. Their work is published in the first Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press, forthcoming). Authors:
Masood Kamandy is an image maker and an aspiring sufi who splits his time between Brooklyn and Khorasan. He is currently studying the relationship between word and image through a collaborative series of photographs, videos and found objects on his website wordsbecomeimages.com.
Naheed Elyasi fled Afghanistan in 1982, three years after the Soviet invasion. Her family walked across the mountains into Pakistan, where they lived for one year before being accepted as refugees to the United States. Naheed grew up in North Carolina, where she studied Communications and Public Relations. After completing her degree at East Carolina University, she moved to Atlanta, where she studied Fashion Design. Her love for fashion brought her to New York in 1999, where she worked as an assistant designer at Maggy London and in the production department at Marc Jacobs. She eventually left fashion to pursue a career in not for profit, and joined School of Hope, an organization that raised funds for schools in Afghanistan. Naheed is currently the Director of Communications at the Council for Economic Education, and a contributing writer for Zeba Magazine.
Zohra Saed received her MFA at Brooklyn College. Her poetry and essays have been published in numerous anthologies and journals. Most recently in Gallerie International Journal: Afghanistan Ed. Bina Sarkar (India: 2009); The Crab Orchard Review (Summer/Fall 2009); and in Speaking for Herself: Asian Women’s Writings (Penguin India Books: 2009). She has performed as part of the cast of the legendary theater director Ping Chong’s Undesirable Elements in 2000 and in 2007, where the ensemble caste performed at the first National Asian American Theater Festival. She is co-editor of the first Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press, forthcoming).
Afifa Yusufi is currently a student at the Albany School of Social Welfare completing her MSW. She is a Queens College and Columbia Alumni. In 2006 she worked with U.S. government officials in the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. She was born in Kandahar and fled the Russian invasion of Afghanistan with her family when she was two. She returned in 2003 to Afghanistan to assist U.S. Medical and Civil Affairs unites on behalf of destitute Afghans. She has done volunteer work with a number of nonprofits and is a recipient of the 2006 Volunteer Excellence Recognition Award from Bpeace.
Sedika Mojadidi is a filmmaker and writer. Her most recent documentary film, Motherland Afghanistan was aired on PBS. Her films on Afghanistan and the Afghan-American experience include: Kabul, Kabul and Zulaikha.
Sahar Muradi was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. She and her family emigrated to the United States when she was three years old. She grew up in New York and Florida. Sahar received her B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from Hampshire College, and her M.P.A. in Interntional Development from New York University. Sahar has written extensively about her family experiences, as well as reported on current events in Afghanistan. Her writing has been featured in literary magazines, newspapers, as well as read on public radio. In 2003, Sahar returned to her native Kabul to work for two years. She helped coordinate a donor conference with the Foreign Ministry, as well as managed a small grant program for civil society development. She is currently a Program and Trek Coordinator for the international organization, buildOn. She lives in Brooklyn. She is co-editor of the first Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press, forthcoming).
Skylight Room, 6.30 pm
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
365 Fifth Ave
New York NY 10016
Phone: 212 817 1876