Female perspectives were allowed to play only a marginalised role in Afghan literature for a long time. However, in the last few years before the Taliban came to power again, there were some important initiatives aimed at increasing the visibility of women writers in Afghanistan. They now also play a much more important role in the diaspora. Projects such as "Untold - Write Afghanistan" or "Weiterschreiben. Afghanistan" open up new paths into the literary scenes of Afghanistan and the host countries.
With Naeema Ghani and Marina Mohammadi, two important voices of Afghan literature present their perspectives. They will read from the anthology My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women (MacLehose Press, 2022) and discuss current issues and challenges with the audience.
Ibrahim Hotak (former director of the Goethe-Institut Afghanistan and curator of the Afghanistan festival)
© Hamid Wafa
studied Education at Kabul University and completed a Master of Business and Administration at Symbiosis Deemed University in Pune, India. From an early age, writing and storytelling was her hobby and she started writing compelling narratives that resonated with readers. Later, she realised that her passion was big enough to become an author and storyteller. In 2022, her first short story was published in the UK in "my pen is the wing of Bird", an anthology of Afghan women writers.
© Naeema Ghani
is a writer, social activist, teacher and editor who was not allowed to go to school for many years. She moved to Kabul to study, where she began campaigning for the rights of women and girls in 2009. Despite family and social conflicts, Ghani did not let herself be diverted from her path. She became a member of the first literary circle of Pashtun women called "Mairman Adabi Baher", wrote and worked for women's rights and supported young Pashtun girls in writing. Ghani wrote articles for the BBC, King's College and Sarkhat. She published 17 of her own children's books, translated more than 50 children's books and founded the "Adabit kodak Afghanistan national foundation", which promotes children's literature and educational rights in Afghanistan. She has received awards from organisations and the Afghan government for her commitment.