This is a short summary of one of the articles from Webzine SILKROADIA VOL.4 NO.1. For more specialized information, please download our Webzine, and read "A Witness to Violence: Atiq Rahim" written by Cameron Shirvani Steiner, an Film Studies student in the Dodge College of Film & Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange County, California, USA.
“Language is precious thing” to writer/ filmmaker Atiq Rahimi, who since the turn of the century has become one of the eminent voices relaying his native Afghanistan to the world (Grey, 2013). The nowFrench based artist - operating out of his “work den” in the Montparnasse region of south Paris (Grey, 2013) - has assumed the roles of novelist, film director, and even photographer to capture a country and a people struggling under the weight of both external pressure and its socially oppressive traditions. Before we unearth and analyze these works, however, we must Cameron Shirvani Steiner 126 first analyze his own personal history to understand the unique perspectives that shape the stories he tells.
The stories of Atiq Rahimi paint a shared mosaic of people exposed to the cruelest of conditions, struggling to communicate or even to understand others, who suffer both as victims of violence and even as perpetrators. It is a shared theme that Rahimi believes it is essential to capture and reflect. He comments that religion, tradition, and politics all had the same goal: “to forbid people from speaking up… Our problem is not “to be or not to be,’ but ‘to say or not to say’” (Grey, 2013). In the face of continued and persistent conflicts, to tell the stories of those who struggle ‘to say or not to say’ may be more necessary than ever.
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