Tag Archives: Ajoka

The ‘It-is-not-us’ syndrome

By Hajrah Mumtaz  Dawn Online

A couple of months ago, I wrote a column in praise of certain Pakistani pop stars and bands, arguing that there are a fair number of songs that display political consciousness and a related sense of responsibility. I referred to such songs as Junoon’s ‘Talaash’, Shahzad Roy’s ‘Lagay Raho’ and ‘Kismet Apnay Haath Main’, Noori’s ‘Merey Log’ and Laal’s rendition of Habib Jalib’s ‘Main Nay Uss Say Yeh Kaha.’ Continue reading

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Filed under culture, Identity, Music, Pakistan, Religion, Taliban, USA, War On Terror

Ajoka’s Musafat theatre festival (Lahore and Karachi)

Say No to Talibanization Cultural activity is under threat in Pakistan

Please attend Ajoka’s performances:

1. Hotel Mohenjodaro on 17th May

2. Dekh Tamasha Chalta Ban 18th May

3. Burqavaganza 23rd May

4. Bulha 24th May Venue: 8:00p.m, at Alhamra Hall # 2, The Mall, Lahore.

Entry is Free

In Karachi, the festival will be held at the Arts Council from 30th May to 4th June 2009

For further information 042-6682443/ 6686634

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Filed under culture, Taliban, Theatre

“Perhaps it’s time for yet another performance of Border Border in both countries”

THE HINDU notes: In 25 years, the noted Pakistani theatre personality’s group, Ajoka, has engaged with issues ranging from the ‘military-mullah nexus’ and brutalisation of society, to the construction of post-Partition identities. Following Ajoka’s recent performances in India in stormy times, Madeeha Gauhar reiterates the need to recognise the subcontinent’s unique lifeline — a shared cultural heritage which crosses all borders.

With a dark shadow cast over bilateral ties following the Mumbai attack, and heightened by the high-decibel war on nerves unleashed on both sides, the stage had been set without their asking. But not only did acclaimed theatre director and actor Madeeha Gauhar’s Lahore-based group Ajoka, which turns 25 this year, perform thrice in India in the past month. The overwhelming response of audiences from Delhi to Kerala reaffirmed the feisty 52-year-old’s faith in people-to-people contact, sustained by the “legacy of the sub-continent’s shared cultural heritage that lives on in their hearts.”

Known for plays that have questioned Pakistan’s ‘military-mullah nexus’, Ajoka performed Hotel Mohenjodaro on January 16 at the National School of Drama’s festival in Delhi. The play is an adaptation of a prescient 1960s short story that predicted Pakistan’s troubled trajectory 30 years hence. Continue reading

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Filed under Activism, Citizens, India, south asia, Theatre

Ajoka Theatre and the Caucasian Chalk Circle

Raza Rumi

Who is entitled to keep the child – one who is a better, nurturing mother, or the one who may be the natural mother but could not care for the child? The larger question then haunts the audience: who is entitled to ownership – the one who has the deed or the one who tills the land?

Ajoka Theatre has revived a production that was first staged twenty three years ago. A deft adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, its vernacular version, Chaak Chakkar, is a timeless comment on the viciousness of Pakistan’s exploitative culture of power politics. Perhaps the duo, Shahid Nadeem the playwright, and Madeeha Gauhar the director, would have tried to capture bits of social reality in the mid 1980s when General Zia was still the Lord Master of Pakistan. Why did Ajoka choose to stage this after a gap of two decades? Continue reading

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Filed under movements, Theatre, Writers