What would you do if militants stormed a café while you were enjoying time out with friends and family? Young Faraaz Hossain faced this terrifying scenario at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh on July 1st in 2016. 

Faraaz's strength in the face of extremism has now been memorialised in the play ,'Terror'. Written by Raminder Kaur. Directed by Mukul Ahmed and designed by Erica Greenshields, Terror aims to honour Faraaz’s memory, while using the voices of customers and staff to retell the horrific incident which stunned those in Bangladesh and beyond. 

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Sohaya Visions and Mukul & Ghetto Tigers have launched a new script writing competition,  RAFTA (Rise Against Fanaticism Through the Arts).

 

RAFTA offers writers the chance to work with a professional dramaturg and production team to develop a piece of theatre or live performance using different creative mediums to promote tolerance and understanding. 

A film by Tarun Jasani and Raminder Kaur exploring intergalactic super heroism from the global south. India  hosts the world's  largest youth population (aged 15-25) yet little is known about their social and imaginative worlds. 

 

This film and  event enables an appreciation of Indian comic books and youth cultures on their own terms in conversation with other cultural trends. It provides a fascinating lens to consider the cultural outputs of an emerging Asian power. 

 

The film  draws upon anthropological and comic studies research.

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Based on people's life stories and experiences, Bodies explores the many facets of cancer through word, song and psychodrama. When one in two people are likely to be diagnosed over their lifetime, cancer has become a silent epidemic of our era. Knowing how to deal with it,  minimise recurrence, and share knowledge and experiences is all the more important. Bodies does this through both realism and surrealism, tragedy and comedy.

An unheard/unseen interviewer asks two female prisoners details of their life's journeys. Both describe the world they left behind, the future they face, and finally, the legacy they will leave for humanity…

 

A research and development theatre presentation that explores how a common seed planted in soils of sorrow and adversity can grow into a weed as well as bloom into a flower.

'That which holds you captivate can also set you free.'

Brothers Unhinged was developed out of memories and experiences of the partition of Bengal in 1947 and linked to Silent Sisters on the partition of Punjab, brought back due to popular demand to commemorate the 70th year. Now in their 70s, 80s and 90s, those who had lived through partition related what they went through in interviews and workshops in London, Brighton and Crawley. Younger generations talked about what their parents and relatives had told them. Discussions extended to refugees in general, violence against women, and migration. And others related to the subject through their own experiences of forcible displacement. From these fraught threads, these powerful dramas were born. 

Artwork by Arpana Caur, Sohni Mahiwal, 48 X 60 inches, oil on canvas, 2008

Who doesn’t harbour secrets? Mishti Gals (sweet swearing in Bengali) tells the funny, poignant and scorching story of the lives of three British Bengali women. Frenemies in their 40s, they have all made life choices that defy expectation. A repressed lecturer called Shubarna, a shopaholic city worker, Lata, and a brazen media socialite, Mou, live in the fast changing landscape of E1. None of them are married with the obligatory 2.2 children. Instead, against all the odds, they make merry and blaze other paths - some hilarious, and some back-stabbingly serious.

Welcome to the real east end!

Silent Sisters is based on real-life stories and memories of partition and migration among British Asians who were affected by the drawing of a line between India and Pakistan in 1947. The youngest interviewed was 21, the oldest 91. With poetry, song, music and movement, Silent Sisters is a fictional story in tribute to those who were affected by partition, and to those who struggle with violence and displacement across the world today which according to the UNHCR, amount to over 65 million people.

Photography by: Ryan Taylor