Photos: Afghan music scene going silent under the Taliban

A month after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, the music industry is fearing going under. The last time the

Published on Sep 29, 2021 03:53 PM IST 8 Photos
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Fighters from the Haqqani network are seen inside a room of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, on September 16. In the alleys of Kharabat, a neighbourhood in Kabul’s Old City, families where music is a profession passed through generations are looking for ways to leave the country after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15.(Bernat Armangue / AP)

Published on Sep 29, 2021 03:53 PM IST
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An Afghan musician plays the harmonium in Kabul, on September 16. “The current situation is oppressive,” Muzafar Bakhsh, a 21-year-old who played in a wedding band told AP. His family had just sold off part of its belongings at Kabul’s new flea market, Chaman-e-Hozari. “We keep selling them … so we don’t die of starvation,” said Bakhsh, whose late grandfather was Ustad Rahim Bakhsh, a famous maestro of Afghan classical music.(Bernat Armangue / AP)

Published on Sep 29, 2021 03:53 PM IST
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Disassembled beat instruments sit in one of the rooms of a musician in Kabul, on September 14. Afghanistan has a strong musical tradition, influenced by Iranian and Indian classical music. It also has a thriving pop music scene, mixing electronic instruments and dance beats to more traditional rhythms. Both have flourished in the past 20 years.(Bernat Armangue / AP)

Published on Sep 29, 2021 03:53 PM IST
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An Afghan musician poses for a portrait with his dilruba in Kabul, on September 18. Asked whether the Taliban government will ban music again, spokesman Bilal Karimi told The Associated Press, “Right now, it is under review and when a final decision is made, the Islamic Emirate will announce it.”(Bernat Armangue / AP)

Published on Sep 29, 2021 03:53 PM IST
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Lights shine at a no longer operative Karaoke hall in Kabul, on September 21. Some karaoke parlors have closed. Others still open face harassment, AP reported.(Bernat Armangue / AP)

Published on Sep 29, 2021 03:53 PM IST
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DVDs of Afghan singers sit in a shop in Kabul, on September 18. Aryana Sayeed, a top female pop star who was also a judge on the TV talent show, “The Voice of Afghanistan,” managed to already leave the country. Already used to death threats by Islamic hard-liners, Sayeed decided to escape the day after the Taliban took over Kabul.(Bernat Armangue / AP)

Published on Sep 29, 2021 03:53 PM IST
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A grand piano is covered in a red cloth inside a hookah bar in Kabul, on September 21. In the family home of another ustad in Kharabat, everyone’s bags are packed, ready to leave when they can. In one room, a group of musicians was gathered on a recent day, drinking tea and discussing the situation. They shared photos and videos from their performances around the world — Moscow, Baku, New Delhi, Dubai, New York.(Bernat Armangue / AP)

Published on Sep 29, 2021 03:53 PM IST
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An Afghan singer looks out a window in Kabul, on September 14. At the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, most of the classrooms are empty. None of the teachers nor the 350 students have come back since the takeover. The institute was once famous for its inclusiveness and emerged as the face of a new Afghanistan. Now, it is guarded by fighters from the Haqqani network, an ally of the Taliban considered a terrorist group by the United States.(Bernat Armangue / AP)

Published on Sep 29, 2021 03:53 PM IST