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The opening of a ceremony at the French Cultural Institute in Kabul by Kabul Techno Dancers. Photo by Afghan Voices.


They do techno to Western music at some wedding parties or with friends. There was this group of Western dancers, Afghan-Western dancers, and they had a club - like a get together not a night club. It was registered with the Ministry of something. But, after a while, since the people around the area raised their voices in complaining to the police station about this dance club, it was totally closed. And they’re working underground now.

Publicly and officially you’re not allowed to dance in public in Afghanistan. And dancing, based on Islamic laws, that I don’t know what kind of laws they are or what kind of Islam it's supposed to be, but apparently based on Islamic laws, you’re not allowed to practice dances because Islam forbids any kind of dancing. You can enjoy everything, but somehow you're not allowed to dance in public. Based on Islamic laws. I was practicing for a couple of days there to learn how to dance, like electronic techno dance, but it was totally banned and now there’s no place to go and learn neither Afghan dance styles nor American or Western or Iranian dances. Particularly it takes roots from the mullahs or the clergies. They have strong power, they are pushing not only the government but also they are dictating warlords, and dictating tribal leaders to forbid, to not allow people to practice dances. And if you find anywhere in Afghanistan a woman dancing in front of a man, the woman can be literally expelled.

A lady in the third round, I guess it was the third round of Afghan Star, and nobody knows about her. She was just totally disappeared after a while. People believe that either Taliban or local residents of the area executed her because it literally dishonored the tribe, particularly Pashtuns generally.

I think that one of the best ways to bring social changes, particularly conservative and very traditional, religiously extremist communities, is through arts. And one of them is dance. I like dance. Here, there is no improvisation. Improvisation that means change, so change is not allowed to come. We need democracy dance styles. It’s not… the dance styles free dance, electric dance, traditional dance styles are… can be classified into classic dances, but modern post-modern dances can be like international peace dance styles. Democracy dance styles or human dance styles. If it’s applicable, human dance styles.

There is no restriction or limitation from my perspective on dance in terms of practicing any positively constructive practices. It was seven years ago when I wanted to dance I was just sitting next to my dad, when my cousin asked me to start dancing in front of people, but my dad grabbed my hand, squeezing it, ordering me to keep sitting. And I said, okay dad, as you order. You’re the big boss. And I did nothing.

But after a while, after two or three years, I discussed with my dad over social issues. Dad, I want to be myself. Okay so that there are differences, technically gap generations between two generations. What you’re thinking now (my dad I mean) was good two or three years ago. But now, there is a difference between good and bad in these two generations.

Then I started opening the area between dad and son. They did not respond positively for a while, most of the time they are responding negatively. It’s a big shame for our family the say. But now, I’m saying to my dad and mom that I’m free, I have my own family and you no longer can order me what to do.


Location: Kabul, Afghanistan

Age: 30

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Hazara

STORY ID: 00005

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© 2016 by Dance Afghanistan.

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