Kabul, Afghanistan

November 29, 1994

Salaam, and thank you for watching this film. I'm Omar Mohammad, a designer based in Kabul, Afghanistan. While studying Design at Kabul University, the reality that our country lacks a contemporary cultural design language in many fields, especially architecture and graphic design, was a constant constraint in my work and research. My main focus as a student and now as a professional is about contributing to the cultural design language of Afghanistan through personal and commercial work.

My MFA thesis at university explored concepts surrounding the definition of Afghan design, the artifacts of Afghan design, and the history of Afghan design. Luckily the Ministry of Information & Culture was invited to the graduate exhibition show and took great notice of my work and research. The Ministry is currently searching for fresh thinkers and designers to contribute to government funded design projects. With the sudden western boom of tourism coming to the country, many of these projects are geared towards boosting the cultural tourism economy of Afghanistan.

The Buddhas of Bamyan have been a mainstay for those in the academic fields of archaeology, religion, and anthropology, yet they have not been fully utilized as a means for drawing foreigners and tourists into the country. Some of my thesis work explored graphic and visual identities in regards to this beautiful region, activating forms in the valley and landscape into cultural pieces of graphic/visual output. The Minister of Information and Culture, Ibrahim Nevin, took notice of this work and commissioned me to design a project about Bamyan that incorporated the work from my thesis. A cartoonist and filmmaker himself, Minister Nevin requested the final artifact to be a short film highlighting the beauty and wonders of the Bamyan Valley and its Buddhas.

The film includes original music, custom graphics and typography, and a personalized voiceover. I'd like to thank my classmates, colleagues, and professors at Kabul University for their support throughout this project. It's not much, but it's a first step towards creating a cultural design language for Afghanistan.

omarmhmmd  عمر محمد