In April 2010, the Edgware Road Project presented two days of music played by a 1970s revival band and study group assembled by Hiwa K.  The band plays popular music from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon in the 1970s, followed by presentations from archives relating to personal memories and neoliberal policies in the region.

Hiwa K is a Kurdish artist and musician who is interested in informal knowledge. Born in Iraq, he is now based on his feet.

Band members and presenters include: Samal Ali, Sardar Amin, Cihat Arinc, Janna Graham, Alexandra Indaco, Hiwa K, Helene Kazan, Amal Khalaf, Bland Mahdi, Roshi Nasehi, Abbas Nokhasteh, Noura Sanatian, Shimon Sakakibara and Nicolas Vass.

Chicago Boys: while we were singing, they were dreaming… is part of Hiwa K’s residency with the Serpentine Gallery Edgware Road Project.

Since April the Chicago Boys has been growing and changing, more members and more gigs in London have occurred as well as an upcoming gig in Poland in December 2010.

Some of our repertoire and references:

Zor Qzhy Zerd

originally performed by Tipi Zanko (Kurdistan, Iraq)

Archival footage available on request


originally performed by by Googoosh (Iran)

Aya Sayad

originally performed by Ahmed Zahir (Afghanistan)

Do You Love Me?

originally performed by Bendaly Family (Lebanon)

iginally performed by Tipi Zanko (Kurdistan, Iraq)

Nimeh Gomshodeh

originally performed by Googoosh (Iran)

Badeha Khalist

originally performed by Ahmed Zahir (Afghanistan)


From Tripoli, Lebanon, The Bendaly Family were a much loved Lebanese band in the 70s and 80s.  Alex, Ghassan, Dia, Rita, Sarah, Gisele, Noor, Tarek, Roger, Fadi, and Remi Bendaly had a string of hits through the 70s, including Do You Love  Me?, the most viewed Arabic music video on YouTube. In the 80s, Remi Bendaly went on to become a solo star.

The Chicago Boys (c. 1970) were a group of about 25 young Chilean economists who trained at the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger.  Their advice was influential in free market economic reforms introduced to  the military junta led by General Pinochet. These reforms were responsible for the economic decline of Chile’s lower classes. Chicago Boys members and ideas have been disseminated widely in Latin America.

The Chicago Boys: while we were singing, they were dreaming (c. 2010) is a 1970s revival band and study group initiated by artist Hiwa  K .

Singer Googoosh was born in 1950 in Iran. Her father, Saber, was an entertainer and encouraged Googoosh to sing in bars and cafés in Laleh-Zar Street of Tehran when she was a child. Googoosh created a unique style in modern Iranian music and became a pop culture icon among the Iranian youth. Her signature short haircut (c.1975) is still popular among women in Iran.

David Harvey was born 1935 in Gillingham, Kent, England. He is the distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Widely influential, he is among the top 20 most cited authors in the humanities. His lectures titled, A Brief History of Neo-liberalism are available on YouTube.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times #1 international bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism(2007). Her lectures titled Iraq: The Neoliberal Project are available on YouTube.

Milton Friedman was at the University of Chicago from 1946 and is widely known for his ideas about and enthusiasm for the free market. His work has been influential on neoliberal policies around the world.

Often referred to as “The King of Afghan Music” and likened to Elvis Presley, Ahmed Zahir’s music is still popular today.  The son of a former Prime-Minister, Zahir died under mysterious circumstances in 1979 at the age of 33.

Tipi Zanko (University Band) was active in the  1970s in the Kurdish town of Slemani, Iraq until 1980  when the university was closed by  the former regime.