The Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University has launched the first in a series of concerts held around the world to support Afghan musicians and artists.
The world concert series, Love songs for Afghanistan, connect and unite people around the world who send messages of solidarity, courage, peace and love to those facing new threats from the Taliban.
Queensland Conservatorium Deputy Director (Research) Dr Alexis Anja Kallio created the concert series and has spent her career researching the links between music and political oppression.
“Throughout history, music has been a powerful way for people to express who we are, but also the type of society we want to be a part of,” she said.
“It also makes musicians particularly vulnerable to human rights violations in times of conflict and political upheaval.
“There have already been reports in Afghanistan of musicians burning their instruments, not for fear of their livelihood, but of their lives. “
Dominic Kingsford is completing a doctorate in jazz and classical composition at the Queensland Conservatorium and helped organize the concert series.
“That I can go home, sleep in my bed and feel safe knowing that my art is not under attack or that I am a target is a privilege,” he said.
“Recognizing this privilege means that I must defend sovereignty, autonomy, democracy and freedom – as I hope others would for me.”
The Queensland Conservatorium will host the first concert on Tuesday, September 28, in support of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.
The concert inspired a worldwide series, with the upcoming Love songs for Afghanistan event organized by the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway on October 14 before traveling to cities and musical institutions in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Finland and other countries.
The Brisbane concert brings together students, staff and alumni, with special guest speaker Dr Rita Anwari, founding director of Women Empowerment and Leadership in Australia and former international advisor to the Minister of Women’s Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
This sold-out event will be broadcast live on Youtube.