Monday, November 24, 2008

Afghanistan towards La Biennale di Venezia

Lately a group of the Afghan Artists residing in Italy has come together in Venice with some Italian art activists to evaluate the possibilities of presence of Afghanistan in the International Biannual Contemporary Arts Festival of La Biennale di Venezia for the year 2009.

It would be the second time in the history of La Biennale di Venezia since its establishment in between 1895 -1907 that Afghanistan is going to represent traces, while the first time and only for once in 2005 Afghanistan had a presence in this festival with Afghan Artists in Europe and America. But this time, four years after first representation, the working group is making efforts to establish a permanent pavilion for Afghanistan in the La Biennale that would expose Afghanistan’s unaccustomed art and culture not only to the Italians but to a variety of nations who have permanent representation there every two years.

The official committee of La Biennale in the Giardini di Venezia where this biannual festival is held does the formal protocols with the ministries of culture or its equivalent structure of the countries and based on its agreements provides the place for the pavilions while the logistical supports and the primary materials for the construction of the pavilion, transportation of arts traces etc all have to be provided by the countries representing their arts.

The talks in this regard have begun these days and the administrative works are getting done in the primary levels, while there are a lot of challenges and problems ahead of this project.

To be optimistic this would be an important happening that would have a contemporary image of Afghanistan to the world through the art works of the Afghan Artists but still there are doubts if the government of Afghanistan is going to support this project seriously.

The first challenge would be the lack of capacity and intelligence in the Minister of Information and Culture to understand the value and importance of this project as a part of his responsibility.

While the Ministry of Information and Culture is a government structure for promoting and supporting cultural - artistic activities, unfortunately the minister is not an artist but has proved to be a fundamentalist Mullah.

With a strict religious background and obstinate behavior, Karim Khoram, promotes fundamentalism in the country instead of supporting the arts and culture projects; opposing the reopening of a cinema in Herat, banning on Indian soap operas on Afghan television channels, rejecting the Bamyan Buddha Statue reconstruction project, expelling media workers for using their mother tongue in their reports etc are the clear examples of his fundamentalist attempts.

Considering that the Afghan governmental budget is still dependent on the foreign aids, the project seem to face financial resources which needs other solutions such as referring to the private sectors as the partners after the formal and administrative protocols are finalized. That could be a solution.

La Biennale Internazionle di Venezia, held in Giardini di Venezia every two years, is a ground for artistic- cultural appearance of different nations ……

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