The Premier of “From I through We to Community”

The premier of the documentary “From I through We to Community” which is produced by Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization took place on Thursday, 28 April 2016.

From I through We to Community documents the journey of 24 young Afghan women and men in order to address ethnic conflict in Afghanistan at the grassroots level.

More than 450 people watched the documentary inside the Arghawan Hall of the historical Babur’s Garden in Kabul. Before the premier of the documentary, the harmonious melody of instruments played by a group of students from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) rejuvenated the spirit of unity and resonated the music of diversity.

Hamid who watched the documentary from the end of the hall with keen eyes said: “The documentary creates many questions in the beginning. Those question captivate you with curiosity throughout the documentary.  At the end, you see the transformation with a strong message. It has the potential to prompt people to re-evaluate their relations with other ethnic groups and question their formerly held perceptions.”

24 project participants were also present at the event. They shared their experiences, observations and stories from their visit to the provinces, hospitality and encounters with different people during the project with the audience after the premier. They promised to spread the message of ethnic co-existence and help to de-escalate ethnic conflict through eliminating misperceptions and stereotyping.

“I can say it was one of the rare things I have seen in Afghanistan in terms of creating space for discourse and discussions. And I was moved by the level of understanding that people had developed through this program. For at least those few hours I was watching the documentary, I reflected back to all the stereotypical notions I had in my mind about others”, said Razia Rezayi who enthusiastically watched the documentary from the beginning till the end.

From I through We to Community aims to address the missing social trust and capital link- the social liquids and bonds that tie individual, groups and communities together, and that constitute the fundamental assets for peace, unity, ethnic integration and ultimately nation-building in Afghanistan. It shows how selected young Afghan women and men from four ethno-cultural communities come together to focus on building ties, trust and social capital at the inter-community levels. Through mutual visits consisting of a variety of complementary activities, they address the most salient misconceptions, misperceptions, and misinformation and stereotyping currently leading to the dehumanization of the ethnic “other”. It finally exposes how they overcome their own misperceptions and stereotyping in order to become the messengers of peaceful co-existence, ethnic and cultural tolerance in Afghanistan.

The documentary is planned to be screened in four different places in Kabul as well as in Herat, Bamyan, Balkh and Kandahar provinces.