2023/ 2024

Zainab Qadiri

The Genocide of the Hazara

Previous Fellowships: 2022/ 2023

Zainab Qadiri studied literature at Herat University before she became an author, theater artist and editor-in-chief of the literary and artistic magazine “Shirin”. She was also actively involved with the Simorgh Film Association of Culture and Art and the Yaran-e-Yar Cultural Association, both based in Herat. Zainab directed theater plays dealing with gender topics and discrimination against the Hazaras in Afghanistan. Through her theater work in a female theater collective in Afghanistan, she cooperated with the Ernst Busch University of Performing Arts, among others. Working at the intersection of academic research and the performing arts, Zainab will focus on a project on the Hazara ethnic minority while being a EUME Fellow in 2022-24, affiliated with Ernst Busch University for Performing Arts, Berlin.

The Genocide of the Hazara

In my project, I address the ongoing genocide against Hazaras in Afghanistan. I want to document and write about the memories and the experiences of institutional and informal discrimination, ethnic oppression and cleansing, and recurring waves of violence and mass murder that are intentionally inflicted on the Hazara by the ruling and terrorist groups of the country. After every incident of targeted mass killing – for example in May 2021, after the deadly suicide attack on the Saied al-Shuhada School in Western Kabul (one of the predominantly Hazara resident areas in the city) – a campaign to “stop the Hazara genocide” has escalated and received strong support and opposition from social media users. It is reported in international media outlets such as the BBC, VOA, The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. The campaigns have come to a halt after a few weeks, the attention faded away, and after countless talks and controversies, the question of whether the deliberate and intentional killing of Hazaras in Afghanistan and even in the Hazara resident areas of Pakistan could be called genocide, remains unanswered. On the other hand, sophisticated research exists which proves that what is being done and has been done in Afghanistan against the Hazaras falls under the legal norm of genocide. Through a research-based approach of a theater and a novel project, I would like to address the question of genocide in Afghanistan, not with the intention to provoke further ethnic tension but to draw attention to the necessity of acknowledgement and action to end this crime against humanity. Through my affiliation with the Ernst Busch University of Performing Arts, I hope to develop a theater project. In a book-length collection of stories, I want to give voice to the memories, experiences and voices of the victims of an undeniable, unrecognized and forgotten genocide.