Last updated: June 19, 2018

Love, rage, silence: secret lives of Afghanistan’s female poets

Single women and housewives swaddled in brightly coloured headscarves come together in a basement room for the poetry reading, some of them risking punishment or even death if discoveredWith her kohl-rimmed eyes cast down, Nadia lilts through a folk couplet before a secret assembly of women poets on a forbidden subject that often gets people killed in Afghanistan — love. The young university student is part of Mirman Baheer, a women's literary society that holds secret gatherings in Kandahar city, the spiritual birthplace of the famously misogynistic Taliban.

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