From the fall of the Taliban until its return, people all over Afghanistan planned their lives around Afghan Star. People would pack into apartments. Villages would hook up generators to a single tv so crowds could watch. New Year’s celebrations would come to a halt, all to watch this one show. Over its 15 seasons, Afghan Star spotlighted an Afghanistan that could be: women singing without hijabs, Afghanistan’s first rapper, people of warring ethnic groups hugging and cheering for each other on stage. And it launched a cultural revolution. This is the story behind it all– from how a ragtag team scrambled to make the show every week, to the dangers they faced for trying to push the country forward. In Afghanistan, a cultural revolution was televised through a musical talent show, and this is its story.

Podcast Produced By: Kaleidoscope, iHeart, Moby, Get Lifted

Episode Art By: AWA Studios Artists — Rahzzah, Alison Sampson, C.P. Smith, Laci, Sanya Anwar, Keron Grant, Dani (with colors by Brad Simpson), Dalibor Talajic (with colors by Ive Svorcina), Mike Deodato, Jr. (with colors by Jao Canola)

Afghan Star x AWA Collaboration Supports Afghan Girls

Kaleidoscope has partnered with publisher and entertainment studio AWA to create unique pieces of graphic art for each of the podcast episodes, including an unforgettable image from superstar artist Rahzzah that represents the spirit of hope embodied by the show. Prints of each artwork are available for purchase, with proceeds supporting The Noor Initiative, a non-profit working to ensure every Afghan girl has access to education and opportunity.

“We are thrilled to be partners on this incredible story, and to have collaborated to bring it to life visually with some of the best graphic artists in the world, many from diverse backgrounds, and all of whom had a profound emotional response to Afghan Star,” said Matthew Anderson, AWA co-chair and President. “The impact of this story is reflected through the compelling visual art that pushes the boundaries of how art can elevate an audio project and we hope many fans will collect one or more of the art pieces as a way of celebrating the show and supporting The Noor Initiative.”

Artwork Sales Benefit the Noor Initiative