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Artist Khadim Ali discusses a series of drawing workshops that he conducted around themes from the Persian epic Shahnameh (Book of kings) with children from Bamiyan in central Afghanistan and at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum and schools in Fukuoka, Japan. These workshops focused on the book’s hero, Rustam—a symbol of goodness and light—and on the way in which this figure has since been appropriated and repurposed. We also hear how the artist parlayed these sets of activities into an international cultural exchange. [December 2013]

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