Solidarity with Afghanistan

In response to the current developments in Afghanistan, we are collecting solidarity initiatives to help the arts and culture scene and the people in the country. This page will be updated regularly.

Please send any initiatives you wish to share to info@thefestivalacademy.eu.

Emergency Funds for Afghan artists by AAAWA

The Afghan American Artists and Writers Association (AAAWA) is a collective that organises community exhibitions, creative workshops, and public commentaries in order to showcase pivotal diasporic works to a broad audience. Based in North America, AAAWA aims to amplify work that critically analyses discourse on Afghanistan in the U.S. mainstream, where Afghan voices are routinely ignored or reduced to cultural tropes. 

See more information on their work and resources to help here and visit this page if you want to donate to Afghan artists in need.

WAW providing realtime resources to help Afghan Refugees

WOMEN FOR AFGHAN WOMEN (WAW) is a grassroots civil society organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and girls in Afghanistan and New York. WAW relentlessly advocates for women’s rights and challenges the norms that underpin gender-based violence to influence attitudes and bring about change.

For Afghans trying to leave the country, find a list of resources by country that is continuously updated here.

You can read more about their work here and donate if you would like to help their cause.

The Artistic Protection Fund offering grants to threatened artists

The Artist Protection Fund (APF) at the Institute of International Education makes life-saving fellowship grants to threatened artists and places them at host institutions and art centres in safe countries where they can continue their work and plan for their future. Sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and with the host-participation of arts institutions and organisations from around the world, the APF fills a critical unmet need by providing relief and safe-haven to artists for an extended period.

Applications and submissions are considered throughout the year on a rolling basis. Candidates meeting APF qualifications will be considered by the APF Selection Committee at least 2 times per year. Full details can be found on the program page.

Artistic Freedom Initiative providing Legal Services to At-Risk Artists

The AFI’s Legal Services for At-Risk Artists program is designed to facilitate pro bono immigration services for at-risk artists fleeing persecution or censorship in their countries of origin. AFI has successfully built a robust network of pro bono attorneys dedicated to providing immigration representation to at-risk artists. The first network of its kind, it is the foundation of our Legal Services for At-Risk Artists program.  

Pro bono attorneys in AFI’s network are currently representing artists who are seeking: Asylum in the U.S., entry into the U.S. as refugees, and admission into the U.S. under immigrant or non-immigrant status in order to flee censorship in their country of origin.

For more details and on how to apply, look at their website here.

AEDH's providing legal and medical assistance to human right defenders

Agir Ensemble pour les Droits Humains (AEDH) offers emergency services to human rights defenders under threat in need of immediate relocation. They provide legal and medical assistance as needed. Assistance is limited to human rights defenders, but artists can fall within that category.

You can apply here for emergency support.

Aid A - Aid for Artist in Exile helps artists from anywhere in the world who are persecuted in their home countries for standing up for freedom of expression, human rights and democracy, and as a result are being prevented from carrying out their creative work in the areas of theatre, fine art, literature, film and music. The artists are often forced to leave their countries and built up a new existence in exile.

Read more on the organisation and how to get help here.

Kabul Art Project connecting Afghan artists to foreign stakeholders

Kabul Art Project is a German project that has supported and promoted talented Afghan artists since January 2013. They have become the most present platform to connect Afghan Contemporary Artists to foreign media, exhibitors and private art collectors, or simply lovers of art, where Afghan art was greatly underrepresented before.

See their Facebook page for reference and their website here.

Relocation programmes for Afghan nationals

Some countries have recently announced opportunities for Afghan nationals who have worked or been affiliated with those countries to apply for permission to travel to those countries. 

Find more information on these State-sponsored programs here.

Open Society $10 Million Emergency Fund for Afghan Civilians in Danger

The Open Society Foundations announced the creation of a $10 million Afghanistan Emergency Humanitarian Fund to support Afghans in grave danger —including champions of human rights, women’s rights, and journalists.

It will help support sponsorship for humanitarian parole programs in the U.S. that provide a pathway to temporary refuge and will support international relief organisations in their efforts to support Afghan citizens fleeing the Taliban advance. 

Find more information here.

The Afghan Diaspora Hub on how you can help

The AFG Diaspora Hub has worked towards making response to Afghanistan's devastating humanitarian crisis a bit simpler. They have researched the latest news about organised protests in your area, tools on how to reach your local representatives, ways to raise awareness effectively on social media, and most importantly, a list of vetted organisations to donate to. 

Read more on their work here and find some recommended charities here

"Stand with Afghanistan" campaign by Avaaz

Avaaz meaning "voice" in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages organises citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.

The organisation empowers millions of people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change. They take action by signing petitions, funding media campaigns and direct actions, emailing, calling and lobbying governments, and organising "offline" protests and events.

Sign their latest campaign "Stand with Afghanistan" here.

SAR providing sanctuary for Afghan scholars

Scholars at Risk (SAR) protects scholars suffering grave threats to their lives, liberty and well-being by arranging temporary research and teaching positions at institutions in their network as well as by providing advisory and referral services.

Apply here if you are an Afghan scholar forced to flee in need of a sanctuary.

Also check out their latest appeal to European governments and EU institutions here to take action for Afghanistan's scholars, researchers and civil society actors. 

Theatre of the Oppressed Community Supports AHRDO

The international Theatre of the Oppressed community is coming together to support the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization (AHRDO) in this urgent moment. Funds will allow the AHRDO staff members to meet ongoing costs.  AHRDO is a human rights and peace-building organization using arts-based, participatory and grassroots methodologies.

Support the Theatre of the Oppressed's crowdfund under here.

For Freedoms is an artist-led organisation that models and increases creative civic engagement, discourse and direct action. They try to center the voices of artists in public discourse, expand what participation in a democracy looks like, and reshape conversations about politics.

Sign their open letter to the U.S. government to facilitate the departure from Afghanistan of at-risk Afghans, including artists, filmmakers, performers, and writers here.

'Don't leave us alone', interview with an Afghan artist

This highly moving article, based on an interview with a directly affected Afghan artist, initiated and conducted by one of our alumni, conveys the current plight of Afghanistan, especially for its female artists.

Due to safety reasons the Afghan artist's name, as well as the alumni's name will not be made public.

Read more in this article about the precarious reality of the art and culture sector in Afghanistan.

10 million € support fund for Afghanistan

Germany is set to provide 10 million euros (USD 11.7 million) for a program to support people in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said. The money is especially directed towards those who campaigned for human rights, freedom of science and culture. 

You can read more here.