Join us on Saturday, August 17th from 4pm to 1am to celebrate Afghan culture, creative expression, and resilience! 

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As we mark the third anniversary of the second Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, it is crucial to remember the communities still facing a humanitarian crisis, climate change and erosions of their basic rights. Let us celebrate the beauty and diversity of Afghan culture and creative expression, recognising its long-standing role in providing joy and hope amidst immense challenges. 

This summer - following the sold-out success of the past two years - the festival will be bigger than ever, and will feature a range of Afghan vendors, food, drinks, art, poetry, henna, workshops, music, and lots of dance. We invite the diaspora and allies to come celebrate Afghan heritage and learn how you can best support communities in Afghanistan facing the brunt of this global crisis.

Meet the contributors 

This year, Farhot—celebrated Afghan producer, artist, and founder of Kabul Fire Records —will join us for a late-night set. His 13-track album, Kabul Fire Vol II completely centres around the country from which his family had to flee when he was a child, exploring themes of identity and memory. His music blends Afghan folk song samples with hip-hop beats and jazz influences. Joining us from Germany, Farhot's set is not one you are going to want to miss. 

The exceptionally talented singer, composer, and tabla player, Yusuf Mahmoud and his son Ariz Mahmoud will be joining us once again to play traditional Afghan music. Yusuf Mahmoud, who fled Afghanistan during the war, is committed to preserving Afghanistan's centuries-old musical traditions and passing them on to the next generation of Afghans.

Mojda is a DJ from London whose love for music spans across many genres, including the melodies of Afghanistan she grew up with. During her set, expect to hear everything from Amapiano to Baile Funk, mixed in with some Afghan tunes to get you dancing. 

Reza Mohammadi is one of the most celebrated Afghan poets of our time, with his poetry collections winning many awards including an award from the Afghan Ministry of Culture in 2004, national medals from two Afghan presidents, and Iran’s prize for the best young poet in 1996 and 1997. He is inspired by iconic Afghan poets, Rumi, Bedil, and Hafiz of Shiraz and is dedicated to carrying on the long revered poetic traditions of Afghanistan. He will be reciting some of his beautiful work during our poetry hour at the festival, including Letter to the Rain, a poem that speaks to the water crisis felt by communities in Afghanistan. 

Award-winning artist, calligrapher, miniaturist, and entrepreneur from Afghanistan, Samira Kitman, will be leading an afternoon art workshop. Samira, also forced to flee Afghanistan, has since founded Kitman Arts, which will have a stall at the festival, and Maftah-e-Hunar in Kabul, an art foundation that has trained over 80 young, underserved women to become artists and earn a livelihood.

Huq That is a collective that deeply honours the ancient practice and significance of henna across cultures. As a long celebrated tradition in Afghanistan, Huq That will be providing their stunning henna designs at this year's festival, generously donating 50% of their profits to our climate change adaptation programmes. Acknowledging our role as stewards of our planet and henna's connection to the environment and ecosystem, Huq That is committed to sourcing their henna responsibly, ensuring their practices support environmental sustainability and ethical harvesting, infusing each design with a sense of reverence for nature and heritage.

Meral Alizada is a public speaker, founder of Results of Kindness and author of "Rumi's Daughter," a book that pays homage to Rumi's Afghan background and a revival of Afghanistan's Sufi tradition. Meral will deliver a talk on the importance of charity, diasporic organising, and collective efforts for communities facing the worst of the global climate crisis in Afghanistan. She will also discuss the crucial role of creative expression and literary tradition in the Afghan diaspora. 

Stay tuned to our social media for upcoming announcements on the many other vendors, poets, speakers, and artists joining our festival lineup!

Where your ticket purchases will go

This year the festival will be raising funds for our summer appeal, Be the Lighta title inspired by Rumi's poem "If everything around you seems dark, look again, you may be the light."

Afghanistan is one of the lowest emitters of green house gases, yet continues to be one of the countries most disproportionately impacted by climate change on top of decades of conflict. 

Afghanaid creates long-term climate adaptation solutions for the communities in Afghanistan that need them most. We prioritise indigenous knowledge of the land and ensure that projects are community-led, with women at the forefront, as the ones most disproportionately impacted by climate catastrophes. This event will support this vital climate change adaptation work in rural Afghan communities.

Secure your ticket

Tickets for this event are limited, so secure yours before they sell out as quickly as they did the last two years! If you are unable to afford the ticket prices, please get in touch with us and we will do what we can to help. We are committed to making this event accessible to all. The venue is dog friendly and has disability access and disability friendly WC as well as a separate room for a quieter space. 

Be The Light Support climate action in Afghanistan today, and get your donation doubled Find out more

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