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One-Year Report on the Activities of "Baamdaad - House of Poetry in Exile" !


In January 2023, the Taliban issued a decree restricting poetry writing in Afghanistan. The Taliban's Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice announced a ban on writing poetry in any style. Prior to this, all forms of art had already been banned in Afghanistan since the Taliban came to power, imposing various restrictions on the lives of the Afghan people. However, among the most vulnerable groups affected by these restrictions are women and artists. It's worth noting that women have lost all their human rights, and artists have been prohibited from engaging in artistic activities.

The erasure of artistic works from public access, the ban on music, the closure of photography and painting galleries, including the historic Behzad National Gallery in Herat, imprisonment of poets, writers, and artists, and the persecution of publishers and librarians have been some of the actions taken by the Taliban during their two-year rule in Afghanistan.

"Baamdaad - House of Poetry in Exile" was established in response to the ban on poetry in Afghanistan. It was initiated by Somaia Ramish, a poet, writer, and human rights activist in Afghanistan. The protest movement "Baamdaad" began its fight against censorship and oppression in January 2023.

"Baamdaad - House of Poetry in Exile" issued a call for poets worldwide to raise their voices against the ban on poetry and art in Afghanistan and to stand in solidarity with the Afghan people by writing poems. This call was met with overwhelming support from poets and literary and cultural organizations, including the French Pen Society, the Japanese Pen Society, the Argentinean Pen Society, International Writers Program, Belvédère, Verhalenhuis Rotterdam , Studio de Bakkrije and

Rotterdam International Poetry Festival!

 More than a hundred poets from around the world responded to this call and submitted their poems to "Baamdaad - House of Poetry in Exile."


Over the past year, two collections of poems, titled "No Prison Can Confine your Poem," have been published as a result of this effort.

The first collection, "No Prison Can Confine Poetry," was published in Japanese in Japan. This collection includes 57 poems from poets worldwide who have written against the censorship and suppression of poetry. The book was published on August 15, 2023, on the second anniversary of the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.



The second collection of anthologies, "NULLE PRISON N’ ENFERMERA TON POEM» was published in French. This collection includes poems from ten Afghan poets living in exile, along with eighty-five poems from poets around the world. It was published in November 2023.



A review on other activities of “Baamdaad – House of Poetry in Exile”:


-          Organizing poetry nights in support of Afghan poets at the Belvédère, Verhalenhuis Rotterdam / On Saturday 15 April 2023 World Art Day


-          Hosting poetry nights in protest against poetry restrictions in Afghanistan with the support of Studio de Bakkerij on May 25, 2023, 8:00 PM


-          Participation in the Rotterdam International Poetry Festival 2023 and discussing the state of poetry and literature in Afghanistan.


-          Participation in a cultural program in Brussels, discussing the situation of women and artists in Afghanistan on 15 September 2023



-          A speech on the International Day of Prisoner Writers in Paris, in this meeting, I advocated for women, artists and writers of Afghanistan who are in Taliban’s prison.

As well I had speech on the importance of democracy and freedom in four secondary schools between 14 to 16 November 2023 in Paris .






-          Participation in the Salm Poetry Festival in Tokyo, Japan, and discussing the state of poetry and literature in Afghanistan, as well Participation in a literary symposium in Okayama, Japan, discussing literature, poetry, and art in Afghanistan between on 15 – 19 December 2023.





-          Organizing a poetry night in solidarity with Afghan poets against oppression and censorship on January 21, 2024. This poetry night hold with the support of Pen Club in France.  Poets from around the world presented their poems, some of which were already included in the "No Prison Can Confine Poetry" collection.





In the past year, numerous articles have been published in various countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Japan, reflecting the activities of "Baamdaad - House of Poetry in Exile." It's important to mention that Pen Societies in Japan, France, and Argentina have supported the protest movement "Baamdaad" and have declared that banning poetry kills the soul and imprisons freedom of expression.

Also, we have had articles and radio and television programs in different countries including Japan, France, Holland, Belgium, Argentina. Cecile Oumahani, Carole Carcillo Mesrobian, Nozomo Shibata, Juichi Noguchi and Juan Tausk have had remarkable activities in this field. They have written articles and organized programs to spread our voice!

Several protest gatherings have been held worldwide in solidarity with Afghan poets, coordinated with "Baamdaad - House of Poetry in Exile." These efforts have also included television interviews, publishing interviews in newspapers and reputable radio stations worldwide, and raising the voices of Afghan women and artists.

It's noteworthy that all the activities of "Baamdaad - House of Poetry in Exile" have been carried out voluntarily, with the cooperation of poets, writers, and literary and cultural organizations. To date, this organization has not received any financial support from individuals or institutions.

At the end, I would like to sincerely thank and appreciate all the people and institutions who have supported us spiritually and given meaning to this liberating human movement with their efforts and help. I hope we will have your support in the future.

We are fighting for freedom and equal human rights and we fight against darkness, tyranny, oppression, and censorship.

With respect



Founder of Baamdaad – House of poetry in Exile



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