Friday, March 20, 2009

Slacker Chic(s) of the Week: The Burka Band

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To be truthful, I don't know the names of the three women that make up The Burka Band. Then again, neither does anyone else. You see for this all girl pop group, it's not about the fame and fortune-it's about staying alive. Hailing from Kabul, these inspirational, kick ass ladies are Afghanistan's only all female band and one of the first pop groups to emerge in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Their 2003 single "Burka Blue" is a must hear, mixing rock, pop and electrofunk with a contemporary look at the role of women in modern Afghanistan. Although they are clothed in head to toe burkas, it's clear for everyone to see the true nature of their souls. These chicks rock steady. But despite their obvious talent, they have had to remain in hiding for years, for fear that if they are caught, they will be put to death. After all, it's bad enough being a musician in Afghanistan-but a female musician?!? That's as risky as you can get. “If people in Afghanistan knew who the members of the Burka Band were, we could be attacked or killed because there are still a lot of religious fanatics here." said one of the group's members who asked to remain annonymous for fear of her family's safety. From the moment she attended a workshop at the Institute of Learning Music, the woman says she found the drums to be quite natural for her. Another woman at the workshop was shown how to play guitar, while a third woman – an Afghan translator – sang in English. The three women were then joined to form the burka-clad girl band – well aware that Afghan women aren't supposed to play music or sing songs. The band would rehearse behind locked doors, so nobody would find out that the women were playing music. “When we shot the video we had to do it very discretely because no one could know that we were playing music. It will probably take 10 years before we will have real girl bands here in Afghanistan,” she says.
Although the group has since disbanded out of fear for their loved ones, the legacy of these ladies lives on. They are not only an inspiration to the women of Afghanistan who long to lead free lives, but to everyone who breaks down barriers that shouldn't exist in the first place.
One of the Best Songs Ever: Burka Blue (their official video begins around the 30 second mark)


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4 comments:

Madam Miaow said...

That's an amazing find, Mrs M. If it's OK with you I'd like to blog it and link back to you.

Mrs. M. said...

of course!

divine said...

You are making quite a few assumptions that may not be true. They may not be in Kabul, from Kabul or even female. It could be dubbed using screen props and video footage.

Mrs. M. said...

Yeah um as someone who has a husband that has not only been deployed to Afghanistan for 16 months in the past but is there currently and reads the Afghan papers, i'm going to go ahead and say with sheer confidence that i think i might know a little bit more about Afghan music that you. And this group-The Burka Band- is 110% absolutely authentic as is their story. So don't try to rob these brave women of the credit they deserve by questioning their authenticity.

 
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