“Coping with catastrophe is not, of course, the end of literature. Art born out of a particular collective history, however wrenching, comes into its own when it mulches history into meaning, when it weaves the warp of everyday life–those intimate dramas of love and loss, striving and spiritual effort, familiar to people of every culture–into the woof of great events that constitute a public narrative, a shared myth. By tapping the wellsprings of their own history, the writers represented in “One Story, Thirty Stories,” are taking that crucial first step toward absorbing the unique experience of Afghan Americans into the universal themes that inform human experience as a whole.” – Foreword to “One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Afghan American Literature,” 2010, Mir Tamim Ansary.

AAAWA, founded in 2010, is a New York-based group of artists, writers, and image-makers that seeks to create a space for artistic dialogue, intellectual exchange, and building networks within and outside of the Afghan American community. Central to their goal is creating a community, based not only on ancestral and familial ties to Afghanistan, but also on the collective commitment, through dialogues and partnerships, to produce and promote provocative, critical, and significant artistic and intellectual work by their members. AAAWA currently hosts monthly salons that take place both virtually and in-person to discuss a wide array of topics that are relevant to the Afghan diaspora, from development in Afghanistan to the politics of diasporic cultural productions. Their past events include: Afghan Americans: Ten Years Later (2011); Zero Film Festival (2013); Afghan Writers for Afghan Children: An Evening with the Afghan Child Care and Education Organization (AFCECO) (2014).

Featured Image Photo Credit: Courtesy of the AAAWA