Afghan Women’s Mission is pleased to announce a nation-wide tour of Zoya, a member of RAWA in October 2009, exactly 8 years after the start of the US war. Zoya will share the message of RAWA in New York, Washington DC, Boston, Iowa, Los Angeles, Berkeley, and San Francisco.
Press Coverage of Zoya’s Tour:
- Out of tragedy, a revolutionary is born
- Activist discusses Afghanistan war
- Afghan activist speaks out against violence
Twenty eight year old Zoya is a member of RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. Like many RAWA members, Zoya has witnessed and endured more tragedy and terror than most people do in a lifetime. Zoya grew up during the wars that ravaged Afghanistan and was robbed of her mother and father when they were murdered by fundamentalists – Zoya was only fourteen. Devastated by so much death and destruction, she fled Kabul with her grandmother and started a new life in exile in Pakistan. After attending a school funded by RAWA, she joined the underground women’s organization and continues their work resisting fundamentalism and war today. Zoya has traveled across the world speaking about her experiences and the work of RAWA.
Because RAWA is an underground organization, members like Zoya do not reveal their real identity for fear of being persecuted.
“The message of RAWA to freedom-loving people is to support the democratic organizations of Afghanistan. Freedom, democracy and justice cannot be enforced at gunpoint by a foreign country; they are the values that can be achieved only by our people and democracy-loving forces through a hard, decisive and long struggle.” — Zoya in a June 2009 interview with Elsa Rassbach, after testifying to the Human Rights Commission of the German Parliament.
SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE POSTER FOR ZOYA TOUR
Bay-area based artist Doug Minkler, has created a special commemorative poster for the tour, shown at right.
Minkler says, “The invitation to help RAWA publicize Zoya’s US tour is a great honor. I am inspired by RAWA’s courage, community projects and principled pro-democracy positions and it is my hope that my colorful depiction of the mythical phoenix opposing the gray US death drones and destruction will similarly inspire the viewer to find out more about the work of RAWA. I take great pride in standing with RAWA and hope that if I was in their shoes, I would exhibit the same strength.”
Corporations want artists to glorify their wars, their products and their philosophies. I make posters for my own preservation, that is, planetary preservation. My prints are inspired not by rugged individualism, but by the collective humor, defiance, and lust for life exhibited by those on the margins.
The US Government claims that only through a massive military economy and preemptive wars can peace and justice be maintained. I am among a growing number of artists who disagree. We are asking, “Peace for who?”
and “What kind of justice?” And, with our art, we are answering: “Peace for all nations” and “Egalitarian justice”. We are putting our creativity in the service of like-minded organizations.
Past collaborations include: International Longshore Workers Union, Veterans for Peace, Rain Forest Action Network, SF Mime Troupe, American Civil Liberties Union, Lawyers Guild, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, United Auto Workers, Africa Information Network, Ecumenical Peace Union, ADAPT, De-Bug, Cop Watch, Street Sheet and United Educators of San Francisco.
More information can be found at the artist’s website at www.dminkler.com.