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	Image: Oliver Percovich, founder and executive director of Skateistan

Celebrity events: Afghanistan

Discover living culture

Discover the living culture of Afghan Australians, hear from social activists, explore jewellery through the ages and find out what it’s really like to be an archaeologist.

Image: Oliver Percovich, founder and executive director of Skateistan

Wednesdays 2 - 30 April 2014


Duration 30 minutes
Location: Entrance court

Related exhibition: Afghanistan

Claudia Chan Shaw and Anne Schofield in conversation

Priceless jewellery pieces provide a beautiful focal point in Afghanistan: hidden treasures from the National Museum, Kabul. With us to discuss jewellery through the ages is one of Australia’s most knowledgeable dealers and collectors of antique jewellery, Anne Schofield. The owner of Anne Schofield Antiques in Woollahra, Anne is a member of the international Society of Jewellery Historians and lectures frequently on antique jewellery and costume. She has appeared on ABC TV and the popular UK television series Antiques Roadshow and has co-authored the comprehensive Australian jewellery: 19th and early 20th century (1990).

Joining Anne to consider the importance of jewellery in societies both past and present is collector, designer and author Claudia Chan Shaw. Having recently published Collectomania: from objects of desire to magnificent obsession (2012), Claudia consider these exquisite jewellery pieces from the perspective of a collector.


Wednesday 2 April 2014 6:30pm – 7pm

Amanda Brown, Benjamin Gilmour and Simon Marnie

Composer, musician and former member of Australian band The Go-Betweens, Amanda Brown wrote the award-winning music score for the 2008 film Son of a lion. Directed by writer and filmmaker Benjamin Gilmour, the film was conceived to combat negative Western perceptions of Pashtuns and Muslims. Benjamin collaborated with Pashtun tribes while filming on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province while Amanda composed and performed the film’s music with Sydney-based Afghan, Pakistani and Iranian musicians. Benjamin joins Amanda to discuss these collaborations and the making of the film with presenter of 702 Weekends on ABC radio Simon Marnie.

This talk will be followed by a screening of the film. Find out more


Wednesday 9 April 2014 6:30pm – 7pm

Archaeology: uncovering the trope of hidden treasures

In a special panel discussion we will hear about a career in archaeology – the myth versus the reality. We may be familiar with the field of archaeology thanks to recent depictions in blockbuster films such as the Indiana Jones, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The Mummy series, but how do these populist representations compare to the reality?

Film expert, art critic, writer, broadcaster and lecturer Andrew Frost will reflect on our archaeological heroes and heroines of the screen while University of Sydney archaeologist Craig Barker will compare or contrast this with the reality. Their conversation will be facilitated by arts journalist Fenella Kernebone.


Wednesday 16 April 2014 6:30pm – 7pm

Oliver Percovich, founder and executive director of Skateistan

Skateistan began as a grassroots 'Sport for Development’ project on the streets of Kabul in 2007 and is now an award-winning, international, non-profit organisation with projects in Afghanistan and Cambodia. Skateistan works with male and female students aged 5 to 18 years of age and uses skateboarding as a tool for empowerment and as a means to connect youth and education.

Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich first visited Kabul in February 2007 and shortly after began dedicating himself to the creation of a skate school in Afghanistan. Since early 2008 Oliver has worked full-time in Afghanistan to establish and build Skateistan, the first international development initiative to combine skateboarding with educational outcomes. He joins us to speak about the importance of this project and of the involvement of the Skateistan students when Afghanistan: hidden treasures from the National Museum, Kabul was on show at the British Museum.

Note: Archaeology: uncovering the trope of hidden treasures, previously listed on 23 April, is now on 16 April


Wednesday 23 April 2014 6:30pm – 7pm

Emma Ayres in conversation with Paul Shields

ABC Classic FM presenter and former professional musician Emma Ayres visited Kabul in January 2013 to teach music to young Afghan students. Emma spent two weeks in Kabul, where she helped the students of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music prepare for their tour of the United States. The institute has 140 students aged between 10 and 20 years with half the places reserved for orphans and street kids. It was established to revitalise the country’s centuries-old music traditions and help heal the trauma of conflict that many Afghan children have experienced.

Returning to Kabul and the institute in December last year, Emma was joined by Melbourne-based luthier and bow maker Paul Shields, thanks to a generous donation by Robert Albert. In this, his first trip overseas, Paul taught students the art of stringing bows and instrument repair skills. Emma and Paul join us to speak more of their travels and of the power of music.


Wednesday 30 April 2014 6:30pm – 7pm