Laurie Anderson will be joined by Afghan conceptual artist Rada Akbar on International Women’s Day to discuss their upcoming collaboration, “A Fashion Show for Spirits,” in addition to exploring issues of women and power, perception and photography in Akbar’s ongoing project Abarzanan, which translates to “Superwomen” in Dari Persian, and Anderson’s Fully Automated Nikon (1973), currently on view in Laurie Anderson: The Weather at the Hirshhorn.


Rada Akbar, born and raised in Afghanistan, is an activist and artist who uses her art to speak out against misogyny and oppression. Her work consists of a mixture of wearable monuments, performance, painting, photography, curation, and installation pieces. It has been displayed in numerous national and international exhibitions. In 2015, she received an honorable mention in the UNICEF Photo of the Year Award. In 2020, her art exhibit called Abarzanan—Superwomen—which celebrates pioneering Afghan women, was featured in the New York Times, and in 2021 she received the Prince Claus Seed Award, MujerHoy awards and BBC 100 Women.

As a Grammy Award-winning musician, performer, writer, and artist, Laurie Anderson has an international reputation as an artist who combines the traditions of the avant-garde with popular culture. Anderson’s theatrical works combine a variety of media, including performance, music, poetry, sculpture, opera, anthropological investigations, and linguistic games, to elicit emotional reactions. As a visual artist, Anderson has been shown at the Guggenheim Museum, New York; SoHo, New York; and extensively in Europe, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris. She has also released seven albums for Warner Brothers, including Big Science, featuring the song “O Superman,” which rose to No. 2 on the British pop charts. She is currently Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University.


Image credit (left–right): Portrait of Laurie Anderson. Photo by Ebru Yildiz.     Portrait of Rada Akbar. Courtesy of the artist.