Meet the Directors and Cast of Ajoka at T2F
Thursday, 1st July 2010 | 6:30 pm
Ajoka has been part of the struggle for a secular, democratic, just, humane and egalitarian Pakistan for the last 25 years. Few cultural institutions have been able to survive, let alone thrive, in the climate of hostility and apathy towards performing arts that has existed in Pakistan. Ajoka is an exception. Set up by a small group of cultural activists in 1983, during General Zia-ul-Haq’s repressive regime, Ajoka has struggled with determination against very heavy odds. It has dealt with bold subjects, experimented with technique and blended contemporary reality with traditional form. Today, Ajoka is an internationally respected name in the world of theatre and its contribution to the promotion of art and culture, and the struggle for social justice and peace in Pakistan is well regarded.
Join us at T2F on Thursday, 1st July 2010 for an evening of conversation with the Directors and Cast of Ajoka, Lahore’s revolutionary theatre group.
2nd July 2010 | 8:00 pm | Karachi Arts Council
Burqavaganza is a story of love in the time of jihad. It is the story of young lovers who are determined to defy the hypocritical values of an ultra conservative society. Like all lovers, the play’s protagonists want to spend time together only to be interrupted and harassed by society’s moral police and the stick-wielding burqa brigade. Their love blooms with the support of popular film songs and under various forms of burqas, while the word 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 It is a world where lovers are persecuted and terrorists worshipped, where new technology is used to promote outdated and retrogressive ideas.
Karachi Premiere of Dara
3rd, 4th, 5th July 2010 | 8:00 pm | Karachi Arts Council
Ajoka’s latest production, “Dara” tells the dramatic and moving story of Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Emperor Shahjahan, who was imprisoned and executed by his younger brother Aurangzeb. Dara was not only a crown prince but also a poet, a painter and a Sufi. He wanted to build on the vision of Akbar the Great and bring the ruling Muslim elite closer to the local religions. His search for the truth and shared teachings of all major religions is reflected in his scholarly works such as Sakeena-tul-Aulia, Safina-tul-Aulia and Majma-ul-Bahrain. The play also explores the existential conflict between Dara the crown prince, and Dara the Sufi and the poet.
During the period of Dara, the Mughal Empire was at its military and cultural zenith. Aurangzeb was a warrior par excellence and a Machiavellian ruler. His sister Jahan Ara was a noted intellectual and mystic. Dara’s spiritual mentor Sarmad, the naked Sufi, was an outstanding Persian poet. Mian Mir and Guru Har Rai also lived in the era and had blessed Dara’s quest for truth and redemption.
The violent and devastating struggle between Dara and Aurangzeb, the decisive role played by their sisters Jahan Ara and Roshan Ara, the spiritual challenge posed by the naked sufi Sarmad to the authority of the muftis and qazis of the Empire, and the growing discontent among the masses are elements which make “Dara” a gripping and powerful play.
Tickets for the plays are Rs. 500 each and are available at T2F and at Nandos (Boat Basin & SMCHS)