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About the Event

The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban overwhelmed media coverage at the end of the summer, but now that U.S. Forces have withdrawn and America’s longest war is over, what comes next?

Questions abound regarding a looming humanitarian crisis. How will the Taliban contend with external communications and media around the world as they seek to consolidate control? Do Western powers still have a means of leverage over the Taliban in the form of economic pressure, and should it be implemented at the risk of jeopardizing Afghan citizens’ material survival? What will be the fate of women and girls and those with ties to or who aided Western countries? Will Afghanistan once again become a haven for terrorists under the Taliban’s rule? Will other countries formally recognize the Taliban’s second Emirate, and how will that affect the geopolitics of the region and other foreign relationships around the world?

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosted Wazhmah Osman, Assistant Professor, Temple University’s Department of Media Studies and Production, and a faculty affiliate of the South Asia Center, University of Pennsylvania to discuss these questions and provide insight as to what the future of Afghanistan might hold. Professor Osman is currently writing a book that analyzes the impact of international funding and cross-border media flows on the national politics of Afghanistan, the region and beyond.


About the Speaker:

  • Wazhmah Osman is an Afghan-American academic and filmmaker. She is an assistant professor in Media Studies and Production at Temple University. In her book Television and the AfghanCulture Wars: Brought to You by Foreigners, Warlords, and Activists (University of Illinois Press, Fall 2020), she analyzes the impact of international funding and cross-border media flows on the national politics of Afghanistan, the region, and beyond. She is also the co-director of the critically acclaimed documentary Postcards from Tora Bora and the co-author of the forthcoming Afghanistan: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press). Her research and teaching are rooted in feminist media ethnographies that focus on the political economy of global media industries and the regimes of representation and visual culture they produce. In her recent work, she extends these critical inquiries to the politics of representation and visual culture of "The War On Terror" including gender/sexuality discourses and how they reverberate globally and locally. Osman endeavors to intervene on these subjects beyond academia. She has appeared as a commentator on Democracy Now, WNYC, NPR, and Al Jazeera and works with community and activist groups. She has worked in television and film production for American and international media institutions and as an independent journalist and filmmaker. Her critically acclaimed documentary films have screened in diverse venues, ranging from human rights organizations to national and international film festivals.