Suggested readings on the situation in Afghanistan, in solidarity with Afghan women

Adapted from Reading Resource for Panel on “Solidarity with Afghan Women” (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)


Suggested Readings

  • International community gave Taliban platform, situation for women scary: Afghan Women Network, August 2021

  • A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan, August 2021

  • ‘We tried to be joyful enough to deserve our new lives’: What it’s really like to be a refugee in Britain

  • Like a Rocket in the Garden: The Unending War in Afghanistan

People in the United States continue to pretend that the despair and futility we’ve caused isn’t our fault.

  • The Fall of Afghanistan: 5 Essential Reads

  • Taliban ‘has not changed,’ say women facing subjugation in areas of Afghanistan under its extremist rule

  • The Weaponization of Nostalgia: How Afghan Miniskirts Became the Latest Salvo in the War on Terror

  • An Afghanistan Apportionment BY WINSLOW WHEELER


Journal Papers:


Editorial (from AAAWA):


Books (from AAAWA):

  • Manchanda, Nivi. 2020. Imagining Afghanistan: The History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Osman, Wazhmah. 2020. Television and the Afghan Culture Wars: Brought to You by Foreigners, Warlords, and Activists. Urbana (IL): University of Illinois Press. 
  • Bose, Purnima. 2020. Intervention Narratives: Afghanistan, the United States, and the Global War on Terror. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
  • Crews, Robert. 2015. Afghan Modern: The History of a Global Nation. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.





  • Whose voices count on Afghanistan? The politics of knowledge production

A discussion on the politics of knowledge production in Afghanistan and how we can make the policy space more representative and reflective of the peoples, histories, and realities on the ground:



Kathy Kelly, co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, ( a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. During each of several recent trips to Afghanistan, Kathy Kelly, as an invited guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. She and her companions in Voices for Creative Nonviolence believe that “where you stand determines what you see.”



“Born April 1988, is the first female graffiti artist of Afghanistan. Through her artworks, Shamsia portrays Afghan women in a male dominant society.

Her art gives Afghan women a different face, a face with power, ambitions, and willingness to achieve goals. The woman character used in her artworks portrays a human being who is proud, loud, and can bring positive changes to people’s lives. During the last decade of post-war era in Afghanistan, Shamsia’s works have brought in a huge wave of color and appreciation to all the women in the country.

Her artworks have inspired thousands of women around the world and has given a new hope to female Afghan artists in the country. She has motivated hundreds of Afghans to bring in their creativity through her graffiti festival, art classes, and exhibitions in different countries around the world.”

“Moshtari Hilal is a visual artist and researcher, living in Hamburg and Berlin.

She is the co-founder of the global independent art collective AVAH (Afghan Visual Arts and History), co-founder of Berlin-based research collective CCC (Curating Through Conflict with Care)  (2022) and co-creator of Studio Hilal, a design project dedicated to prints on textile on the nexus of art, fashion and storytelling with her sister and designer Zuhra Hilal. Since February 2021 she is also co-curating a series of talks with the political geographer Sinthujan Varatharajah.”

This is an independent and global research collective and multimedia platform.

“We came together upon recognising a lack of obtainable information and long term initiatives concerning the historical and contemporary practices originating in or relating to Afghanistan. Through gathering art histories, contextualising practices, and creating a professional network – we aim to establish critical resources that will aid in understanding the past and equip the current generation of artists and cultural practitioners both in and out of the country.”


Fundraising links

Afghan Women’s Fund: Committed to Ensuring the Human Rights of Afghan Women


Institutes + Organizations

“The Afghan American Artists and Writers Association is a collective that organizes community exhibitions, creative workshops, and public commentaries in order to showcase pivotal diasporic works to a broad audience. Based in North America, AAAWA aims to amplify work that critically analyzes discourse on Afghanistan in the U.S. mainstream, where Afghan voices are routinely ignored or reduced to cultural tropes. Through its forums, AAAWA illuminates a multiplicity of issues ranging from hybrid identities to gender and sexuality to the multigenerational impacts of war, including the ongoing ramifications of U.S. imperialism and capitalism. We see ourselves connected through not only our ancestral ties, but also through a shared vision for social justice for marginalized communities globally. We are Afghans, Muslims, and/or queer Americans with intersectional identities.”

  • Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA):                                                                                           RAWA is the oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women’s rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan since 1977.

The Afghan Coalition is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1996 and subject to financial reporting and audit. All funding restricted to programmatic activities will be used to provide support to the Afghan community. Any unrestricted funds will be used where the organization finds it critical to sustain activities. All contributed support is tax deductible.


Documents to look up for Action Items and FundRaising 

  • RESOURCES FOR AFGHANISTAN:                                            “This document is for anyone in the global community wanting to help Afghans on the ground, legal aid resources in a few countries for those attempting to or helping others leave, actionable scripts to lobby US congressional officials. If you have additions, please request edit access with your additions in-message.”