This Saturday, to mark one-year since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, local charity Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees will host a kite-making workshop at Hay Castle.
The event will run from from 10am to 3pm and include Afghan food and music.
The workshop is part of a nation-wide initiative Fly With Me, an immersive, multi-city kite flying festival presented by Afghan artists, actors and sportspeople by Good Chance Theatre.
Spread across 16 locations in the UK and Europe, Fly With Me celebrates the ancient Afghan craft of kite-flying in an aerial act of solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. The artform, alongside music, theatre and dance, were previously banned by the Taliban during their occupation of the country.
Afghanistan is experiencing one of the most devastating humanitarian crises in the world. More than 23 million people - over half the population - face acute hunger according to the UNICEF World Food Program. Of the 16,000 Afghan refugees evacuated by the UK last year, 12,000 remain housed in unsuitable temporary accommodation, unable to cook for themselves, or integrate into the local community.
Fly With Me invites people from all backgrounds, regardless of race, nationality or religious beliefs, to come together and fly a kite - sending a message to the world to ‘Remember Afghanistan’ and treat Afghan refugees with the respect and open heartedness.
16 cities and towns across the UK and Europe will take part in the Fly With Me kite flying festival, including Brighton, Bradford, Dover, Folkestone, Glasgow, Hay-on-Wye, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Northamptonshire, Scunthorpe, Sheffield and in the UK, and Berlin, Pas-de-Calais, Paris, Copenhagen and Barcelona in Europe. Many UK festivals including Manchester International Festival and Shambala will be taking part, and the Fly With Me organisers are calling for more towns, cities, festivals and communities to get involved.
The cultural significance of kites and Afghanistan’s complex history will form part of the festival’s storytelling, alongside music, poetry and dance from Afghan artists and other community groups.
In kite making workshops across Europe and the UK, Afghan storytellers will bring to life the story of Zaki, a 12-year-old boy in Kabul who, in keeping with 800-year-old traditions, loves to fly kites each autumn. His brother Bahram was forced to flee by the Taliban, so Zaki is learning how to make kites alone with his younger sister, Marwa. Good Chance will invite thousands of people across the UK and Europe to hear Zaki’s story, and learn how to make and fly kites together with him.