An Evening with Poet and Playwright Sarmad Sehbai

Join us for an evening of poetry and story-telling featuring Sarmad Sehbai
Wednesday, 10th March 2010 | 6:30 pm

“Spices of madness. The foremost component of change in Pakistan’s literature and the performing arts – the werewolf of Pakistan’s literati.”
F Yazdi, The Nation, 1997

sarmadsehbai.jpgSarmad Sehbai is one of Pakistan’s most mercurial artists – a poet, playwright and director of theatre and video plays – a man who has struggled towards existential revolution but always shunned intellectual labelism, remaining firmly on the other side of the mainstream.

Whilst studying at Government College Lahore, Sarmad became renowned for his Urdu poetry, which stood out for its fresh imagery and contemporary idioms. After college, he joined PTV and started writing original plays for television and the stage. After scripting a number of ground-breaking plays, Sarmad came to be known as the ‘enfant terrible’ of Pakistan, for his powerful, authentic content, firmly rooted in social realities and local vernacular.

During the military dictatorship of the 1980s, General Zia officially banned cultural and theatrical activities. A few like-minded individuals started performing plays in clandestine locations and one of the first productions was Sarmad’s “Panjhwar Chiragh”. Sarmad was then banished from Lahore and sent off to Islamabad. Eventually, he was re-admitted to PTV where he wrote and directed a number of vibrant dramas, all created with meagre resources and protracted battles with the censor board.

Sarmad is frequently admonished for not having been more prolific. His response: “The mainstream art mafia does not allow me to do my work.”

Rejecting a society increasingly dominated by consumerism, Sarmad has distanced himself from the mainstream art world and is currently writing poetry and a novel in English.

Date: Wednesday, 10th March, 2010
Time: 6:30 pm
Minimum Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

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