FOSA Show during the
By A.H. Cemendtaur
Skits are being polished, actors are
busy memorizing their lines, and the marketing team has
been busy selling tickets, as Friends of South Asia (FOSAâ€”www.friendsofsouthasia.org)
gears up to arrange a memorable and thought provoking show
on Saturday, December 18.
Ever since its inception in late 2001 FOSA has been actively
arranging programs that bring Bay Area Indians and Pakistanis
together. The December show to be held at Mehran Restaurant
in Newark is being co-sponsored by Ekta.
The theme of the show is "suppressed voices."
FOSA promises the event to be "an exploration in performance
art: An evening of live theater, music, song and dance,
showcasing voices that have lived despite all odds."
FOSA describes its December 18 program in these words:
"In the milieu of ethnic, religious, linguistic and
cultural streaks of infinite shades that is South Asia,
there are some voices that are heard, and many others that
are either ignored or brutally suppressed.
'Suppressed Voices' will bring to the fore, some of the
most feeble, yet most expressive, of South Asian voices.
"Using a variety of art-forms - theater, music, song
and dance – and featuring works spanning centuries
- from a kaafis by Guru Nanak, to the ecstatic sufi compositions
of Bullhay Shah, to revolutionary poetry by Faiz Ahmed Faiz,
and Dalit poetry, to name a few - the show weaves together
a diverse narrative of voices living and breathing despite
"The show, a series of skits tightly woven together,
unfolds as a dramatic portrayal of voices rising up in the
face of suppression, in various contexts in South Asia.
Using satire, irony and sharp wit, and contexts we can all
relate to, the show challenges us to ponder some of society's
burning questions such as - What is identity? Why do we
draw these boundaries around nationality, language, and
ethnicity? Why does society still dictate what a woman can
and can't do? Who determines what is 'cultured' art and
what is 'uncultured' art?
"The show derives its strength in large part from the
amazing body of work it draws upon. Poets whose works are
featured include Habib Jalib, Baba Bullhay Shah, Shah Hussain,
Guru Nanak, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and Venkanna, a Dalit poet/singer
- who have all written eloquently about the burning issues
of their (and our) times, and challenged authority in the
face of dire consequences."
The various acts to be presented on December 18 have been
written by Shikha Malaviya and Moazzam Sheikh. The show
will be directed by Moazzam Sheikh and is being produced
by a well-known Bay Area activist, Ijaz Syed.
More information about the show is available at: