New Episode of ‘The Backdrop’ Podcast Features Karima Bennoune on Helping Artists Escape Afghanistan

Episode 8 Explores the Effort to Evacuate Artists, Musicians, Poets and Other Cultural Workers After the Pull-Out of U.S. and NATO Forces

With the end of the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan and the quick takeover of that nation by the Taliban, advocates fear a terrible backslide in human rights and civil society there.

Karima Bennoune, a professor at the UC Davis School of Law, has been working with others to help get artists, musicians and other at-risk cultural workers out of Afghanistan. She’s worked in the field of human rights, including in Afghanistan, for more than 20 years. And, she serves as U.N. special rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. Her recent book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories From the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism, was based on hundreds of interviews with people from 30 countries. Bennoune is currently a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School.  

In this episode of The Backdrop, Bennoune discusses her work in the international effort to help evacuate vulnerable cultural workers from Afghanistan, religious fundamentalisms as political movements and how human rights advocates can move forward in a country ruled by the Taliban.

The Backdrop podcast is a monthly interview program featuring conversations with UC Davis scholars and researchers working in the social sciences, humanities, arts and culture. It is available free, on demand at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and Spotify. The Backdrop is hosted by public radio veteran Soterios Johnson.

Media Resources

Media Contacts:

  • Karen Nikos-Rose, News and Media Relations, 530-219-5472,
  • Melissa Lutz Blouin, News and Media Relations,
  • Soterios Johnson, News and Media Relations, 530-454-5956,
  • Karima Bennoune, School of Law,

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