The documentary Silencing the Song: An Afghan Fallen Star (Havana Marking, 2010) follows Setara Hussainzada after her ill-fated appearance on the popular Tolo TV show Afghan Star, when she scandalized the country by dancing — modestly — and allowing her scarf to drop to her neck, leading to death threats from conservative Muslims. Even in the urban capital of Kabul there is constant harassment, including by the local authorities fully backed by the USA as a counterweight to the misogynist Taliban. Her story, carefully explored in this acclaimed film, embodies longstanding tensions regarding the place of Islam and the presence of women in Afghanistan's emerging and rapidly expanding public sphere, from television to digital media. This program will screen the film, followed by a panel discussion.
In collaboration with The Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near East Studies and The Center for Religion and Media
Part of "Digital Religion: Knowledge, Politics, and Practice"
Havana Marking Director of Afghan Star (2009), Silencing the Song (2010)
David B. Edwards W. Van Alan Clark '41 Third Century Professor in the Social Sciences, Williams College
Wazhmah Osman Social Science Research Council, NYUNY