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RAI Research Seminar: Razia Sultanova
Tuesday 27 February 2024, 04:00pm - 06:00pm
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RAI Research Seminar

organised by the RAI's Ethnomusicology and Ethnochoreology Committee

Tuesday 27 February 2024,  4:00-6:00pm GMT

This is a hybrid event.

To join us via Zoom, register here: 

To join us in Person at the RAI (50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T5BT): 


Afghanistan Dispossessed: 
Burka, Bans and Music in the time of Taliban - 2

Dr Razia Sultanova (Cambridge Muslim College)

How does normal social, cultural, religious life survive in constant turmoil? How can the people flourish? These basic questions are examined and answered by Razia Sultanova's most recent ethnographic research, coupled with deep fieldwork, extensive eye-witness accounts, and personal conversations with a diverse range of Afghan men and women, that tackles fundamental questions of gender, identity, nation, tradition, history, popular culture, and notably, the pivotal role of music—ranging from classical to popular, modern, and contemporary—as a vital element for survival. However, this narrative is overshadowed by the return of the Taliban, with an ongoing threat of terror and repression, especially for women and girls. It unfolds as a classical story of a people's struggle for everyday normality and the preservation of cherished traditions in a war-torn society.



Dr Razia Sultanova is a musicologist and social scientist with an international reputation. She graduated from the Uzbek State Conservatory and her PhD is from Moscow State Conservatory. She was a Research Fellow at Goldsmith's College and the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London. She is Visiting Professor at Charles University, Prague, Research Fellow at Cambridge Muslim College, UK, Chair of ICTM SG on Global Music, Editor-in-Chief of Encyclopaedia of the Turkic-Speaking World. She authored major studies including From Shamanism to Sufism: Women, Islam and Culture in Central Asia; Turkic Soundscapes: From Shamanic Voices to Hip-Hop; On the Ruins of Empire: Central Asia migrant's music in 21st century.




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