Since it was founded in May 2009, the Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP) has been instrumental in creating safe spaces for women in Afghanistan to express themselves through writing. AWWP’s programs include online and in-person writing workshops and readings, and staff and volunteers make an effort to make the programs accessible to all Afghan women, particularly women with disabilities. And next weekend, folks in the Tri-State area will have a unique opportunity to get to know AWWP’s work better.
New York Comedians for Afghan Women, a two-night performance to benefit AWWP, will take place next weekend in Brooklyn, NY. Both events will feature NY-based performers reading pieces written by AWWP’s participants in Kabul. Saturday’s event will be a prose reading, structured as a storytelling circle, while Sunday’s event will be a poetry reading, structured as an installation to convey the isolation and independence of Afghan women writers. Comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member, Rachel Dratch, will headline Sunday’s performance. Examples of pieces written by AWWP participants can be found on their website.
Though the connection between writers in Afghanistan and comedians in the US may not be immediately apparent, AWWP’s executive director, Elisabeth Lehr, explained her take on it in the event press release:
Women writers in Afghanistan and female improv comics in New York have not shared the same set of challenges. But they are all women who by definition go against the grain, forge creative connections with others, and speak with candor, courage and humor…We are deeply grateful to Rachel Dratch and to all of those who are generously donating their time to amplify the authentic, unfiltered voices of real Afghan women.
If you are in the NY area and looking for a way to spend next weekend, buy tickets for these events now! And if you’re unable to attend, have no fear — GAB is planning to cover Sunday’s performance and post a full recap next week!