Composers Sahba Aminikia and Aleksandra Vrebalov speak of their involvement with the Flying Carpet Children’s Festival, an annual arts festival, founded and directed by Aminikia, that takes place each summer along the Syrian-Turkish border. In an environment of intense stress where youth face a magnitude of challenges, Aminikia, Vrebalov, and an international team of volunteer artists work together to bring inclusive, safe, and engaging educational and cultural activities that aid in directing expressions of trauma and in navigating the perils of a transitional state of belonging. The result is an empowering humanistic exchange marked by collective transformations. This event is part of the 2021-22 KHC and National Endowment for the Humanities Colloquium, “Incarceration, Transformation & Paths to Liberation during the Holocaust and Beyond.” The event is organized by the KHC in partnership with the Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC) at Queensborough Community College (QCC) and is co-sponsored by the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College; the Ray Wolpow Institute at Western Washington University; the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University; and the Department of Music at QCC. For more information about the KHC, please visit:
Host Pier Carlo Talenti interviews artists who are shaking up the status quo to learn how they are reinventing their fields and building a new landscape for the arts.
Sahba Aminikia is an Iranian American composer, musician and educator based in San Francisco whose own musical training spanned three continents. He first studied composition in the city of his birth, Tehran, and then relocated to Russia to attend the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. After emigrating as a refugee to San Francisco in 2006, Sahba then earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.