Afghan ‘Burqa Band’ creates waves in Germany
It began in Kabul as a joke, but with the help of a few German musicians Afghanistan’s all-girl rock group “Burqa Band” was formed in the space of a day and has hit the airwaves and clubs in Germany. All that remains of the ephemeral alliance of the Burqa and rock is an amateur video clip and a song remixed by Berlin DJ Barbara Morgenstern which has become a modest summer-time favourite.
The female trio appears on screen as three blue ghosts in a makeshift studio in Kabul; bound by their robes they nevertheless let it all hang out on the drums, electric bass and microphone.
“You give me all your love, you give me all your kisses, and then you touch my burqa, and don’t know who it is...” the lead singer moans in halting but determined English.
It’s a surprising image in a city where cultural events were virtually outlawed and dance steps can be made out under the gyrating robes, moves that would have meant almost certain death a few years ago.
Dahlke, from the Ata Tak record company, and two colleagues arrived in Kabul last October with the aim of helping to re-awaken Afghanistan’s musical sensibilities and spread some “traditional music” influence. They played a mix of Persian, Russian and Indian sounds on local percussion instruments, a harmonium and the Afghan violin.
One day, my colleague Saskia asked our Afghan translator if she wanted to play around on the drums,” said Kurt, whose colleagues helped pen the lyrics. “Two other women, who made the tea, got excited about the idea of playing in a group. But in fear of the reaction in society here, they don’t want their names made known,” he said. Despite their precautions, making the video clip proved tedious. We locked the room. The male students were knocking on the door all the time, they thought our meeting behind closed doors was suspicious. We had to open the door all the time to calm them down,” said Kurt’s colleague Frank. While Kurt and his colleagues were in Afghanistan, fundamentalist gunmen burst in on a party and fired on the band, killing two musicians. —AFP