During this session held with the presence of a number of Afghan poets and literati residing in Tehran and Qom and cultural counselor of Afghanistan embassy in Iran, Afghan poet Ghanbar-ali Tabesh lectured about postmodernist aspects of contemporary Afghan poetry expecially among younger poets of Afghanistan.
He began with a definition of postmodernist theory: "The post-modernist theory has shaped upon different historical, artistic, philosophical, political, literary and ethnic aspects. The post-modernist trend has occupied the minds and words of poets and intellectuals for about half a century while its origin, like many other schools of thought, is the west."
Tabesh then referred to Yung's statement that regarded the main origin of postmodernism to be the occupation of Algeria by France. According to him, many thinkers and intellectuals originally from Algeria and tightly related with that area and the event of Algeria's occupation, suddenly realized the necessity of transformation in sociopolitical structure of the world. Many of these thinkers were Algerian or were connected to it, like Lyotard, Derrida, Althusser, and even prior to them Sartre as the pioneer of a movement beyond modernism. These characters had tendency towards the third world and criticized western political holds. In fact, the main goal of post-modernism was to decentralize the west as the always preferred side, and Eurocentrism.
He added: "Consequently, the first sparks of post-modernist poetry were made in America by the destitute class of society, namely the black and the women."
He then referred to some characteristics of postmodernist literature and poetry:
1- Significance of the personal and the trivial: breaking all the frameworks imposed by modernity.
2- Self-interpretation: Postmodernist literature is the realm of the self; postmodernist poet is not thinking about dominant paradigms and instead, is writing according to his own mind. These writings about the self may sometimes oppose the dominant norms and discourses of the society. This is well manifested in the American confessional poetry that was shaped in reaction to Christian traditions of Confession.
3- Anti-traditionalism and digression from conventions, both in form and content: forms that had long been held by literary critics as the 'literary canons' were broken apart by postmodernist poetry.
4- Madness and insane writing: these poets attempted to advocate a kind of madness and insanity in their writing styles and literary characters as opposed to those who had replaced God with Ration for a long time. They believed that rationalism does not mean everything and emotion has also something to say.
5- Particular attention to mass culture against superior classes: before postmodernism, there was a kind of racist and class-oriented superiority in treatment of literary language and some layers of society regarded literature as solely belonging to them. Therefore they avoided expressing derogatory terms or those inappropriate for higher orders of society. Yet postmodernist poets believe that mass culture should be pain attention as a rich source of humanity.
6- Incredulity and Nihilism: a state of disappointment and helplessness rooted in rationalism and politics of modernism that has drawn the universe towards destruction; and of course, this notion of oriental nihilism is much different that Nietzsche's.
7- Bondage with life and humane values
8- Anti-formalism and anarchism: tendency towards breaking the rules by those who tend to trespass all norms.
9- Ambiguity, mystery and complexity
Then Tabesh explained that these features are found in the main trend of contemporary Afghan poetry and then expounded these features in the poetry of figures like Zahra Hosseinzadeh, Elias Alavi, Fatemeh Sajadi, Ferdows Barin, Naqib Armin, Rahimeh Mirzaei, and protest poetry of Arjan Asqari.
According to this literary critic, postmodernist poetry of Afghanistan is also facing challenges as too much emphasis upon simpler aspects of this movements and ignorance of the usage of specific vocabulary and particular attention to being mysterious and self-interpretation has made this poetry subject to criticism.
After this lecture, the invitees and young poets of Afghanistan Literature House each read a poem for the audiences. These poets included: Mohammad Jafari, Seyyed Javid Hosseini, Nasser Arefi, Dr Hafizollah Shariati, Mahmoud Tajik, Mohammad-Hossein Fayaz, Soleiman-ali Zaki, Ahmad Ahrari, Mohsen Saeidi, Zahra Rostami, Ziba Ahmadi, and Masoomeh Mousavi.