Exploring the Burqa as a Metaphor
"The obsession with burqa, face-veil, niqab, hijab, parda has very little to do with religious beliefs and everything to do with the patriarchal, tribal, feudal mindset and value system," says The Ajoka Theatre regarding its ultra-controversial but hilarious play called Burqavaganza, which I had seen some months ago when it was performed in Karachi for the first time. The play had stirred up much interest as it had been banned previously but Ajoka continued to perform it in defiance of the ban and eventually the ban was lifted.
LAHORE: Alhamra Hall-II was full of audience on Wednesday when Burqavaganza was staged on the second day of Theatre for Peace festival, being organised by Ajoka Theatre in collaboration with the Lahore Arts Council and Rising Pakistan.
The play explores the burqa as a dramatic device and uses it as a metaphor.
It is the story of young lovers who are determined to defy the hypocritical values of an ultra-conservative society in the time of jihad.
Like all lovers they want to spend time together only to be interrupted and harassed by the moral police and the stick-wielding burqa brigade. The love blooms with the help of popular film songs and under various forms of burqas, while the world outside is falling apart because of the war on terror and a search for ‘Burqa bin Batin.’ It is a world where lovers are persecuted and terrorists worshipped, where new technology is used to promote outdated and retrogressive ideas.
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