Assignment Asia Episode 36: The Power of Art

Our stories this week show how art is not only a form of expression and a window into a society, but also a force for change.

In Afghanistan, the art of filmmaking declined because of years of war and repression. But certain individuals are working hard to resurrect it: from employees at the country’s film commission who are restoring old films to a new generation of filmmakers who dare to defy ultra-conservative values. As Natalie Carney discovered in Kabul, the television industry is also pushing the boundaries of Afghan society.

In many parts of Pakistan’s city of Lahore, walls are stained with graffiti bearing hateful messages. One group, however, is trying to change that by painting the graffiti over with beautiful and inspiring images. Danial Khan met the volunteers who are determined to reclaim their city’s walls.

China’s ethnic Yi women have practiced embroidery for more than 1,000 years. Today, it is no longer just a treasured art form, but also their source of income and empowerment. In Yunnan province, Yi women have made a lucrative business out of their handcrafted products, allowing them to weave a brighter future for themselves.

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