In July and August 2013, the exhibition “Once upon a time … in Afghanistan” and its accompanying workshops took place at the Kommunale Galerie Berlin. The goal was to create a German-Afghan dialogue through artistic expression. In the autumn of 2012, me and my befriended artist Ana Lessing travelled to Kabul in order to carry out a month of art workshops with the NGO Skateistan.
Our connection with Skateistan was essential for the journey and it became the cornerstone of the relationship between the population of Kabul and the foreigners, a rarity due to the security situation in the country today. We were able to win the trust of the people and closely interact with children and adolescents, especially with girls. We were able to walk the streets (although limited and not completely free of risk) as well as participate in everyday life.
The focal point of the journey was an artistic-exchange with children and adolescents of Skateistan by covering the unfamiliar topic of Brothers Grimm fairytales. The classroom was used to encourage creativity and to teach photography, painting, and design. The resulting works are illustrations and photographs produced by participating children and adolescents, as well as the portrait photography series “Faces of Kabul” by Ana Lessing and me.