French art institutions at the rescue of fleeing Afghan artists

Mohsin Taasha, série « Tavalod-e dobareh-ye sorkh » [La renaissance du rouge], Kaboul, 2017 (détail)
The takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban that took mere weeks, caught most of the population off-guard and has suddenly put scores of people in danger. Among the particularly vulnerable are the country's artists.

The news of the killing of traditional musician Fawad Andarabi by the Taliban went around the world and highlighted the dire situation in which Afghan artists are in at the moment.


Many countries have decided to help them, like France that helped a number of artists flee the new regime. They were transported to France in military planes that were organising the evacuation of at risk civilian populations.


The Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris has put forth a program seeking to provide these artists with a space to work and create freely. For the past 50 years, this institution in the heart of Paris has been helping artists fleeing from their country.


In Marseille, The MuCEM, the museum of civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean, has been giving a helping hand to the artists that took part in it 2019 exhibition "Kharmohra, art under fire". With the help of the museum, some artists have been evacuated starting August 14th, but others, that were either hesitant to leave their home or that didn't anticipate the Taliban's swift takeover, have had to be evacuated to France in an exfiltration effort that ended on the 31st of August.

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up. For now, over €100.000 have been collected and aim at covering the costs of plane tickets and the accommodations of the artists and their families. A total of 74 people have been welcomed as of now.