This winter, I worked with a theatre production company called HERE in New York City, to help organize two theatre, music and art festivals- the Prototype Festival and Culturemart. I was attracted to working with HERE as each of its theatre productions, especially for the Prototype festival, had a social action component. Thumbprint is one of the operas that were featured in the Prototype festival, and during the first half of my internship I worked with the set designer, stage manager and technical director to curate this show.
Thumbprint is based on the life of Mukhtar Mai, a Pakistani woman who was gang-raped in 2002. When this happened, it was very rare for a woman to convict her rapists, as the Pakistan law required four male eyewitnesses to testify to the rape. Mukhtar Mai was one of the first women who brought her offenders to court and the won the case, which sentenced her rapists to death.
I am intrigued by Read More…
Ali Faateh here, folks. I’m a senior and I study writing and public action at the college. This FWT, I’m back in my hometown of Lahore, where I’m working as a research assistant for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), an independent, non-state organisation. Mostly I’m helping with their flagship annual publication, “The State of Human Rights in 2013,” and I contribute to their social media campaign too.
(Photos courtesy of Marc and Raphaëlle Chiapolino. A couple are mine.)
Pakistan is a bundle of contradictions; it lives in different centuries at the same time, firmly rooted in tradition on the one hand while also warily inching—in fact, sometimes hurtling—toward modernity. It’s an unimaginably, ethnically diverse place, so although I’ve lived here all my life, Pakistan never ceases to amuse and amaze me with its cultural schizophrenia. As a “frontline state” in the war on terror and the supposed epicentre of terrorism, Pakistan has lost nearly 50,000 citizens over the past twelve years. Rampant violence, sectarian strife and a independence movement in Balochistan are threatening its existence.
The HRCP takes the state to task over its failure to protect its citizens; Read More…