Fotini Christia on the Meaning of Afghani Election Campaign Attire
from the New York Times, 17 August, 2009
"As Afghanistan prepares for presidential elections this week, Kabul is covered in colorful campaign posters. One is struck by the sheer number of candidates (more than three dozen), but also by the sheer range of attire: pinstriped suits, turbans, hats, capes, vests. Why? In ethnically divided Afghanistan, what a candidate wears sends as powerful a message as what he says. Fotini Christia, Assistant Professor of Political Science, and Thalia Chantziara, an artist in New York City, present a slideshow for the New York Times of the three top candidates (President Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani) who have all used dress in their election strategy — be it for ethnic unity or exclusion."