Under the Starry Afghan Sky

Ay Kash / ای کاش / If Only
UNDER THE STARRY AFGHAN SKY collective, Afghanistan

assisted by Cosmino Productions

Under the Starry Afghan Sky are eleven young women living in Afghanistan. The collective evolved out of the work of Herat Online School, founded by the education activist, Angela Ghayour who herself fled Afghanistan in 1992, in collaboration with Rachel Karafistan of Cosmino Productions who is a volunteer teacher at the school.
‘Ay Kash / ای کاش  / If Only’ is a theatre, art and activism performance and exhibition featuring artwork, films, poetry and stories which premiered at English Theatre Berlin with two corresponding exhibitions at Graumalerei and currently at Oyoun café in Berlin, Germany. Afghanistan currently has the worst situation for women of any country in the world. Women in Afghanistan do not even have rights to be violated. They have lost the ability to learn, graduate, walk or travel alone, fall in love, earn money, ride a bicycle, or even go for a walk in the park. This project is an attempt to bring their voices directly to a wider global community.

It was new year, and the start of a new academic year in Afghanistan. 
From my window, I could see the boys going to school, but all I saw staring back at me in the mirror, was myself in jail. I hadn’t left the house for more than two weeks and when my sister and mum announced they were going to the bazar to buy supplies, I told them that I wanted to come. We went to the bazar and bought everything we needed, and just as my mother was giving the rickshaw driver our address, a Talib came over to us. He started shouting at my mother. ‘Just get in, shut your mouth woman!’ My mother replied, “I’m just giving the address, please stop shouting.’ He boomed back angrily ‘I said, SHUT YOUR MOUTH WOMAN. Just get in the damn rickshaw!’ He hit the rickshaw many times as he spoke with the metal bar he clasped in his hand. Then he slammed the rickshaw door hard as we scurried inside to something like safety.
I wanted to say something to him, but my mother stopped me. She knew what could happen. He could hit me, he could take me away, he could even kill me, and no one would stop him. As I sat in the rickshaw, I fought back the tears. It was so hard to see my mother degraded and terrified like that and be so utterly helpless. 
My ears are tired of listening to the barks of the Taliban. 
My heart is tired of feeling shockwaves of fear. 
My eyes are tired of seeing my mother under the threat of violence. 
My hands start shaking when I hear the loud voices of men and their constant threats. 
My body can’t cope with experiences like these, day after day. 
Can you imagine the terror of living under the Taliban? 
This is how it is was for me, on the only day in two weeks that I l finally had a chance to leave the house.

Our links:

https://gofund.me/9f8418f0 – Go Fund me appeal

https://www.instagram.com/underthestarryafghansky/ – Instagram page