A few small communities that buttress Bagram Airbase, one of the main international military bases in Afghanistan, are the focus of this talk. The residents of these communities fought alongside the Americans to evict the Taliban but have more recently suffered from violence as local leaders battle each other over the money and jobs generated by the base. These communities have had a unique perspective on the American presence in Afghanistan and provide an opportunity to think about the legacy of the international presence and the wider role of the U.S. in global politics.
Coburn has been working in the area over the past three years with Greg Thielker, a landscape artist, to use a variety of media to capture the tensions and contradictions of the place and describe it to the world.
Coburn is a political anthropologist at Bennington College. From 2006-2008 he worked with a small group of potters in central Afghanistan resulting in the ethnography Bazaar Politics: Pottery and Power in an Afghan Market Town. More recently he has been focused in elections in Afghanistan, tracking voters and candidates, and monitoring polling stations. He has published numerous articles and reports for a variety of think tanks in Washington and Kabul and has taught at the American University of Afghanistan, Boston University, the University of Michigan and Skidmore College.
Registration for this lecture is $15 paid in advance or $20 at the door.
For more information and to register, visit greenmtnacademy.org or call Liz Berard at 867-0111.