INTRA Projekt: “Valleys of the Simorgh. A transhistorical Quest for Equality and Democracy”

Ahmadjan und der Wiedehopf

Bird Talk #10, Maren und Ahmadjan Amini

In 1972, Ahmadjan travelled from Afghanistan to Hamburg where he wanted to become an artist. This endeavour was accompanied by many ups and downs, which caused inner and outer turmoil in his search for happiness. His daughter, Maren Amini, tells of these in the graphic novel Ahmadjan und der Wiedehopf and interweaves her father’s migration story with Attar’s Conference of the Birds.

The travellers – the artist and the flock of birds alike – are united by both uncertainty and hope. Ahmadjan wants to leave the constraints and hardships of the world behind him in order to find fulfilment in freedom. In doing so, he crosses seven valleys and each valley requires insight and self-examination. The valleys lead through the hippie era in Afghanistan, the music and free art scene of the 1970s in Kabul and Hamburg and to resistance fighters high up in the mountains of the Hindu Kush. At a time when American tourists were still camping in the parks of Kabul, at a time of peace movements, wild parties and an approaching war that seems never-ending. This journey through space and time is accompanied by Ahmadjan Amini’s artworks, which are bustling with life.

In this evening talk (with musical support), Maren and Ahmadjan Amini reflect on their collaboration, on their inspiration drawn from Attar’s tale and on that journey, which from now on no longer lies exclusively in memory, but has also taken shape in colourful images and texts.

Abteilung für Kunstgeschichte, Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien

Kunstraum hinterland

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