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Afghan Women's Project

Photo by Peggy Kelsey Photo by Peggy Kelsey

Houston Institute for Culture supports The Decade of Nonviolence-Houston's Peace Week with an exhibit of Peggy Kelsey's Afghan Women's Project photographs and two screenings of the film "Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics."

Please join us for a talk by Afghan Women's Project founder Peggy Kelsey following the film.

Peggy Kelsey's talks on September 21 and 22 have been postponed due to Hurricane Rita

NOW SCHEDULED: Wednesday and Thursday, October 5 and 6, 6:30pm

Free. Seating is limited. Please RSVP at: 713-521-3686, or email info@houstonculture.org

Houston Institute for Culture
5555 Morningside, Suite 204
Houston, Texas 77005

Located in the Rice Village, above Brian O'Neill's and next door to the Gingerman.

The Speaker
Peggy Kelsey, a professional photographer from Austin and founder of the Afghan Women's Project, first passed through Afghanistan on her way home from her junior year abroad at Pahlavi University in Shiraz, Iran. In 1980, after three years traveling and working around the world, she and her husband Bill moved to Webberville, Texas. Together they operated a successful magazine distribution business.

In the early '90's, Peggy began a career in photography and Bill became a pilot for Airserv, a company that provides air transport for disaster relief and post-war reconstruction workers. They spent two years in Mozambique and, in the fall of 2002, returned to Texas, where Peggy was privileged to meet with a delegation of 14 Afghan women. She was amazed at how strong and full of life the women were in spite of the hardships they had faced. Talking with them about their lives moved her to begin the Afghan Women's Project. With Airserv's support, Peggy went to war-torn Afghanistan for 6 weeks in August and September 2003, and returned with portraits and stories of 40 Afghan women.

Peggy Kelsey's Portraits of Afghan women, with interviews and personal accounts, are on display through October 12 (W-F, 4-8pm; Weekend, 2-8pm).

The Film
Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics Produced by The National Film Board of Canada; 52 minutes

Marilyn Waring is the foremost spokesperson for global feminist economics, and her ideas offer new avenues of approach for political action. With persistence and wit she has succeeded in drawing attention to the fact that GDP has no negative side to its accounts--such as damage to the environment--and completely ignores the unpaid work of women. "Why is the market economy all that counts?" Ms. Waring asks.

In 1975, when she was just 22 years old, she was elected to the New Zealand parliament. She was re-elected three times and eventually brought down the government on the issue of making New Zealand a nuclear free zone.

When she was chairperson of the Public Expenditures Committee, she perfected what she calls the "art of the dumb question." Ever since she has challenged the myths of economics, its elitist stance, and our tacit compliance with political agendas that masquerade as objective economic policy.

This film has inspired many people, notably the Who's Counting Project, to work on human-scale economic alternatives, local currency exchanges, and more humane ways of measuring the quality of life.

Houston Institute for Culture is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cultural education and awareness through cultural activities. Our goal is to provide free and low-cost events, services and classes for the community. The organization's sphere of interest is Houston, the regions that have affected Houston's cultural history and the international origins of Houston's diverse population.

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