This is Zohra – the first and only all female orchestra in Afghanistan. They are all students at the National Institute of Music (ANIM) and have been honored with a special award.
The Freemuse Award is given to an individual or an organisation that “has worked for freedom of musical expression in a remarkable way”.
Afghanistan’s musical scene suffered enormously in the last decades of the 20th century due to war, exile of musicians and policies of ruling forces such as the Taliban. Women’s access to education, employment and social rights also suffered tremendously meaning that these musicians are inspiring others in a hugely symbolic way.
Dr Ahmad Sarmast revived and promoted musical education in Afghanistan and drove the establishment of ANIM in 2010. Today, 65 out of 200 students are female aged between 14 to 20 years.
The Freemuse Award will be presented at a concert with Zohra in Geneva tomorrow (Wednesday 25 January, 2017) by Freemuse co-founder Marie Korpe.
Full concert here:
And press conference: