Fields of Bamiyan by Solmaz Daryani

Art for Afghanistan: Fundraisers You Can Get Behind


In times of crisis, it’s easy to feel helpless.

Such has been the case this week: after 20 years of war and the recent withdrawal of US troops in June, the Taliban have once again seized power in Afghanistan. Sweeping across the country to claim their victory in a matter of just 10 days, their rapid takeover has caused tens of thousands of people to flee their homes, to either the capital of Kabul or to neighbouring countries. While chaos descended on the city, President Ashraf Ghani also fled, his government and military presence unravelling behind him. While these troubles aren’t new, there’s no debating that the threat of the current political situation looms devastatingly large for the people of Afghanistan—especially for young girls and women who were subjected to the Taliban’s repressive rule in the early 1990s.

The situation is overwhelming, but there are some ways we can help. After contacting your local MP to let them know you want Australia to stand in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, here are three arts-driven fundraisers you can support.

Women crossing the road. Kabul, Afghanistan. 2004, Rena Effendi

Ishkar EMERGENCY Print Fundraiser

ISHKAR is a purveyor of objects, stories and travel experiences that aim to dissolve the barriers between us and countries less travelled such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Mali and Iraq. Creating pathways for international trade and tourism, ISHKAR knows what’s what when it comes to creating economic relief where it’s needed. The ISHKAR Emergency Print Fundraiser brings together a collection of works by award-winning photographers— including Solmaz Daryani, Rena Effendi and Andrew Quilty—who have continued prints from their archive for a time-limited sale.

 

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All profits from the print sale will go directly to EMERGENCY centres in Afghanistan, an initiative that provides free, high-quality, long-term sustainable healthcare around the world. Donations will fund specialist training of local nurses and doctors who will ultimately treat thousands of vulnerable patients across the country. Available for a limited period of six weeks, prints will be on sale online until Wednesday, 15th September, 2021.

For more, visit ishkar.com

Prints for Afghanistan

Two good-looking good-doers, Louise Follain and Sophie Strobele, are selling prints of their photographs on Instagram, @printsforafghanistan. Following a trip to Bamiyan and Kabul at the end of 2020, they decided to unite their visual interpretations of Afghanistan to raise awareness and much-needed funds in the midst of the current crisis.

All profits are collected by ERE Foundation—a non for profit organisation in France—and will be distributed to a number of carefully selected NGOs depending on the needs of the country, with a focus on supporting women and children (more details on this to come). To purchase a print, simply visit their IG account and send a DM their way to secure your pick.

For more, visit ere.earth/printsforafghan

Artists For Afghanistan: A Livestream Benefit Event

If the absence of live music is making news headlines all the more difficult to process, then this is the fundraiser for you. Artists for Afghanistan is a live-streaming event coming to screens around Australia and the world this Saturday, 21st August (yes, that’s tomorrow!). Organised by George Caroll Wilson (Pollyman), the event was brought to life late one night when he, like many others, felt at a loss as to what he could do to help.

The virtual gig will see Melbourne musicians Gabriella Cohen, Pollyman, Hollie Joyce, Fenn Wilson, Chitra and Jasper Jolley (Bones and Jones) come together to deliver an evening of music in response to the unfolding events in Afghanistan. The participating artists will donate all funds received on the night via paypal.me/pollyman, to a selection of charities including Afghan Aid, Islamic Relief, International Rescue Committee, Afghan Women and Children Jalala Foundation, and Enabled Children Initiative. To donate during the gig, visit paypal.com/paypalme/pollyman

Honestly, where would we be without artists?

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