Sisters in the Sky


Transcript


Voice 1

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Colin Lowther.

Voice 2

And I’m Rena Dam. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand - no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1

A group of people stand in a large room. Above their heads there is a small white airplane. But it is not flying in the sky. It is hanging from the ceiling. It is part of an art show. Other art hangs on the walls. There are many pictures of women. Some are wearing green clothes that cover their whole body. The women are pilots. They fly airplanes.

Voice 2

This art show is at San Diego State University in the United States. It is part of a meeting about women’s rights. It is called “Seize the Sky.” All the art is by Simone Aaberg Kaern. She is an artist from Denmark. Today’s Spotlight is on the work of this artist.

Voice 1

Simone’s first art work was about the air and the sky. She saw the air as a place where people can be free. She produced paintings and videos to represent this freedom. Simone began to think that this freedom was especially important for women. She had heard about women who had flown airplanes in World War Two. So for her next project, she decided to talk to these women. She wanted to produce art about their lives.

Voice 2

But one of the women pilots would only meet with Simone under one condition. The woman wanted Simone to learn how to fly an airplane. So Simone took flying lessons. She became a pilot. She flew herself to the United States. There she met with the female pilots from World War Two. She took pictures of them and made drawings. The result was an art show called “Sisters in the Sky.”

Voice 1

Simone loved flying. While flying, she felt free from the limits of land. And she believed this feeling was important for all women. She travelled around the world to meet other female pilots. She made a film about the first female pilot in Iran. Simone also spent time with female fighter pilots in Turkey. She took their pictures and included them in another art project. She put many photographs together to make interesting images.

Voice 2

Then a few years later Simone was reading a Danish newspaper. She read a story about a sixteen year old girl in Kabul, Afghanistan. The girl’s name was Farial. Farial’s story gave Simone an idea for her next project. Simone told Cinema Netherlands about the story she read:

Voice 3

“The story begins with a girl in Kabul, just out of Taliban rule. She comes to school and her wish for the future is to fly. I read about it and decided to test it! At least she should have a chance to try to fly an airplane” 

Voice 1

So in September 2002, Simone flew a small airplane from Denmark to Kabul, Afghanistan. She travelled with another pilot, Magnus Bejmar [MAG-noose bedge-mar]. Their airplane was very old and small. Simone told the television show Wide Angle about the difficulties of the journey:

Voice 3

“There are so many it is hard to tell them all. Generally, weather plays a large part in relation to the challenge of flying in any country. This is especially true when flying in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan. We were not very sure of the airplane’s performance as we reached heights up to 12,000 feet.”

Voice 2

It was also difficult to get permission to fly. Airplane pilots must tell people on land about their plans to fly. But in 2002 Afghanistan was at war. This area of the sky was very controlled. The authorities were not permitting any airplanes in the sky. But Simone wanted to show that the sky can be free.

Voice 1

Simone and Magnus faced many troubles on their flight. It was difficult for them to find fuel. They had to talk to many people for permission to fly or land their airplane. But they met many people along the way who were willing to help them.

Voice 2

They finally landed their airplane in Kabul. This was very dangerous because they did not have permission to fly there. But Simone found Farial and taught her to fly. Farial was able to reach her dream of flying an airplane. And Simone was very happy to reach her goal too.

Voice 1

Simone and Magnus spent some time with Farial and her family. Then they returned to Denmark. Magnus made a film about their journey. It is called “Smiling in a War Zone.” It shows how Farial learned to fly. But Simone and Magnus also learned many things. Magnus tells the Danish Film Institute about a discovery that he made:

Voice 4

“As it turns out, there are already two sisters in Afghanistan who are helicopter pilots. We came to Afghanistan with a completely developed idea. We thought that Farial would be the first girl in that country, after the Taliban, to fly. Here we come with our artistic ideas and our dreams, and...they are already flying!"

Voice 2

Two sisters did train at the Afghan Air Force Academy. They flew together for over 16 years. One of them, Lailuma, died a few years ago. The other sister is now the ONLY female pilot in the Afghan army. Her name is Colonel Latifa Nabizada. She flies a helicopter that brings supplies to Afghan soldiers.

Voice 1

Colonel Latifa came to speak at San Diego University. She was part of the meeting about international women’s rights. Simone Aaberg Kaern’s art show “Sieze the Sky” was also part of this meeting. First, people saw the videos and art about female pilots. Then they listened to Colonel. Latifa tell her story. The U.S. Air Force reports that at the meeting, Colonel Latifa said:

Voice 5

“I am very happy to attend. It is a good opportunity for me to share my experiences with other women. I am very happy that I can participate as a woman pilot. I am proud for me and for my country and for Afghan Air Corps."

Voice 2

Above Colonel Latifa, the small airplane hangs from the ceiling. It is the airplane that Simone and Magnus flew to Afghanistan. Farial flew the same airplane in Kabul. Colonel Latifa is encouraging girls like Farial to one day become pilots. Then they will join what Simone Aaberg Kearn calls the “sisterhood across cultures and generations.”

Voice 1

The writer and producer of this program was Rena Dam. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at http://www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Sisters in the Sky’.

Voice 2

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Rain Bows
said on November 17, 2012

What a nice program.
Definitely these woman are example of courage and shown that everything is posible, and the sky is not a limit.
Hooray Sisters in the Sky!
Manta- Ecuador.

Avatar Spotlight
georgino
said on November 18, 2012

These women are very good flying. Nowadays the women don’t have limits, and I am agree with that.
Good topic thanks spotlight friends