Home World Afghanistan, Italy welcomes the director of the Center for Contemporary Art Rahraw Omarzad

Afghanistan, Italy welcomes the director of the Center for Contemporary Art Rahraw Omarzad

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Rahraw Omarzad, the director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Afghanistan, arrived in Italy today with his family and will ask for political asylum given the crisis his country is going through. “A concrete gesture towards a man of culture and his family, which also has a symbolic value in defense of creative freedoms all over the world”, said the Minister of Culture. Enrico Franceschini. “It is another step taken by the world of Italian culture in a long practice of closeness to the Afghan people. This year the Italian G20 presidency, also in the meeting of leaders chaired by President Draghi this week, reaffirmed the importance and necessity to safeguard the Afghan cultural heritage “.

In Italy, Omarzad will have a home for his family, a job and an academic chair. He will move to Turin where he will work with the Castello di Rivoli – Museum of Contemporary Art, which has coordinated Italian institutions, such as the Albertina Academy of Turin and the National Museum of 21st Century Arts – teaching at the Albertina Academy. “Professor Omarzad, with his experience and academic background, can only help us to enrich our knowledge of contemporary Afghan artistic culture”, said the president of Castello di Rivoli, Francesca Lavazza, in a note on the website of the museum.

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The artist’s arrival in Italy was possible thanks to the joint work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, through the diplomatic network, the Ministry of Culture and sponsors in the Italian museum system. Thanks to his activity, Omarzad has woven over the years numerous collaborations with the world of Italian culture which immediately moved to rescue him and his family from Afghanistan. The leader of this effort is Castello di Rivoli, Maxxi and international foundations such as Francesca Thyssen Bornemisza / Tba21 and Community Jameel.

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Rahwar Omarzad has been, since its founding in 2004, the director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Afghanistan. The only independent exhibition space in the country that offers Afghan artists the opportunity to play a significant role in the development of their country. Promoter of the creation of the Women’s Art Center, committed to removing the numerous obstacles that have prevented Afghan women from approaching the art world, and founder of the country’s only art magazine. of Kabul and with his students, in 2000, he founded an art magazine called Ghanama-e-Hunar

Through photography and video art he has focused his research on the themes of evolution, change and renewal of contemporary Afghan society. In a four-episode video story, Gaining and Losing, published in 2012 told the massive destruction of archaeological finds from the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul during the past decade.

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“I had the pleasure of working with Professor Omarzad in 2010-2012”, said the Director of the Castello di Rivoli Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, “on the occasion of documenta in Kabul, the first international art exhibition in the country after the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. In 2012, I exhibited his work Gaining and Losing in Kassel, Germany, which was seen by 905,000 visitors. Omarzad proposed many young artists from his center to the workshops we organized in Kabul “, reads the Museum’s website.

All reasons why it would have been dangerous to stay in Afghanistan for the artist and professor from Kabul. The training school for artists would have been a threat to him and his family in a country where women are not allowed to attend classes and teach.

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