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‘Burka Blue’
comes into being during a music workshop in the state music school ‘Institute of Learning Music’ in Kabul in October 2002. The workshop is co-promoted by the Afghan Ministry of Culture.
Together with the band ‘a certain frank’ (Kurt Dahlke (Pyrolator) and Frank Fenstermacher), the drummer Saskia von Klitzing is also invited to participate. All three play together with the renowned German group ‘Fehlfarben’.
Two concerts take place as well as the workshop on pop-music instruments and modern recording methods. A small music studio is set up.
In the course of the workshop Saskia gives some drumming instruction. A young woman called Nargis who just happens to be present is so enthused, she decides to learn the drums.
Played on a drum, which had been hidden from the Taliban for over 6 years by another indigenous musician, the Burka Blue beat is the result.
The vocals are written to the track’s rhythm and are recorded on a cassette recorder in what usually serves as a kitchen in the Institute.
Nargis reads the vocals aloud and realizes a name for Afghanistan’s first woman’s musical group, the ‘Burka Band’ as the Afghan answer, but at the same time an ironic one to the western superstar – and the girl-group challenges.
2 young women spontaneously join in the project.
With their support, the Burka Blue video originates from the Institute’s kitchen and other ‘safe’ public places in Kabul.
Burka Blue appears on Gudrun Guts Monika Enterprises Label in Berlin on vinyl as a single together with the expressive remix by Barbara Morgenstern.
The Burka Band eclipses the summer media in 2003, appearing in the online edition of the German magazine Spiegel, Charlotte Roche’s ‘Fast Forward’ on viva TV and Yahoo’s opening page which leads to diplomatic irritations. The TV channel SAT 1 broadcasts extensive coverage in its evening news. The BBC and AFP and different European daily newspapers publish articles as does the world’s largest US music publication, Spin Magazine.
Nargis is concurrently in Germany to learn German.
Nargis amuses herself about the striking difference of large numbers of urban posters exhibiting sparsely or unclothed people and the veiled privacy of Afghan women – the origins of No Burka! from the Burka Band.
Frank and Saskia meet up with Nargis on numerous occasions to record ‘No Burka!’
With the assistance of two burka-clad actresses, the accompanying video is recorded.
5 days before Nargis’ departure, the Burka Band makes the surprise performance of the evening, appearing with Fehlfarben and Blumfeld at the Popkom festival in Cologne.

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