The Little Theatre and the U of R present Afghan Star at the Little Theatre

Wed, 03/14/2012 - 7:00pm

Credit: afghanstardocumentary.com

Pop culture has returned to Afghanistan in the form of “Afghan Star”; an American Idol-like TV show that millions watch each week. The singers, especially the women, risk their lives to follow their passion for song.

After 30 years of war and Taliban-rule, pop culture has returned to Afghanistan. Afghan Star - a Pop Idol-style TV series – is searching the country for the next generation of music stars. Over 2000 people are auditioning and even three women have come forward to try their luck. The organizers, Tolo TV, believe with this program they can ‘move people from guns to music’.

Join us for a screening of Afgan Star on Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at the Little Theatre.

In a troubled country like Afghanistan, even music is controversial. Considered sacrilegious by the Mujahiddeen and outright banned by the Taliban (1996-2001), music has come to symbolize freedom for the youth. While the conflict still rages many of those taking part are literally risking their lives.

But the old guard warlords and religious elite have more to worry about than just music.  Millions of people watch the show (11 mn watched the final – a third of the country) and vote by SMS from their cell phone for their favorite singers. For many, this is the first time they have encountered democracy: one man or one women equals one vote. All  - the different genders, ethnic groups, age sectors - are equal. This is a highly radical idea in a country still essentially based on a male-dominated tribal elder system. For the first time young people, ethnic minorities and women have an arena in which to shine. And at last, the people are allowed to vote for who they want.

The Little Theatre and the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Rochester are excited to combine forces to present a series of films that explore women’s’ roles in many aspects. It is the second year for each organization to use Women’s History Month as a springboard for film programming.

Talkback discussion directly follows the film. This event is open to the public and admission is $5.00. For more information visit the Little Theatre website.