By every available measure, corruption is crippling Afghanistan’s government and fueling the Taliban insurgency. Repeated surveys of Afghans find bribe-taking by officials among the public’s greatest complaints, and the Taliban win popular support by vowing to end such graft. While weak police and judicial systems seem unable to...
When students at Afghanistan’s Nangarhar University organized a blood drive last fall to protest their country’s civil war, so many donors lined up that the blood bags ran out. “Stop Bloodshed and Donate Blood to Save Lives,” the event declared. On a campus where some students have demonstrated in support of the Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS), the rally against violence became a story on local radio and television, and on social media.
Artists and peace advocates are using public art to oppose violence, notably in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East. The results have varied, advocates say, but the art campaigns have worked to undermine extremists’ calls to violence, and helped communities heal the divisions of war. They have ignited public discussion of local conflicts and even triggered peacebuilding efforts. Art campaigners and peace advocates who have worked across the Middle East and South Asia discussed the uses—and the limits—of public art as a peacebuilding tool, in a recent forum at USIP.