Shanaakht: Street Theater Review

Yesterday, i dropped by the shanaakht festival, being held by the Citizens Archive of Pakistan at Arts Council of Pakistan – Karachi, and was pleasantly surprised by just how good the whole thing was arranged. Volunteers were available everywhere to help out with the experience, and you hardly felt left out or abandoned while roaming around taking in the various exhibits.

While i was there, the students of Visual Arts Department, Karachi University put up a street theater performance in the open auditorium on the theme of shanaakht. Comprised of three skits, one serious, one semi comic and one comic, it was something you had to be there to enjoy! The first play was based on suicide bombers, with a head cleric trying to convince one of his student to ‘gain shahadat’ by blowing himself to bits. The play revolved around a dream the student has, of one of his fellow student who had recently commited the act and was now paying penance for taking another human beings life. The second skit was based loosely around the partition era, which then cut through to present day and one of the most sensitive issues in our society today was addressed. The ‘want to lecture’ anyone anywhere that we so proudly possess. The play then veered off into a comedy routine with various skits intermingling with each other leaving the audience in splits.

The performances by the students were stunning! Spectacular even! with each and every emotion delivered not only through their expressions, but also their body movements and voice modulations, the whole presentation came to life in a brilliant fashion! Hats off to the KU Visual Arts Department!

4 Comments so far

  1. Edward Louis (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 7:47 pm

    I was interested in attending today’s event at the Shanakht festival which included a performance by Anwar Maqsood and Moin Akhtar. This was ofcourse something which the rest of this city of 16 million also wanted to do. As a person of principles, I waited for 13th August to arrive and hopped across the Arts Council to collect the passes. As per Citizen Archives website as well as their schedule for Shanakht, the passes could “only” be collected on the 13th for the performance scheduled for 13th August. But in the true spirit of Pakistan and in celebrating its 60th birthday… the Archive did what we as Pakistani’s should be proud of. They passed on all the passes to their cronies and contacts almost 3-4 days ahead in advance. I spoke to some lady at the Art Council on 13th Morning (a bimbo socialite!) who true to her calling could only be working for a NGO like Citizen’s Archive. Well done, people… we kept the tradition alive. Pakistan Zindabad!


  2. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 8:09 pm

    Well, this wasn’t suppose to happen like that. Edward why don’t you register your protest at the CAP’s website.


  3. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 11:59 am

    is this shanakat thingie being managed by Pakistani candian Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy who proved herself a western mouth piece by making movies against Talibans,Saudis and what Not and who ignorantly believes that ALL madrassahs produce “jahil” like her? Actually I read an article by Insiya’s sister in Dawn so I was just confirming. If she’s same then not my cup of tea.


  4. omar r. quraishi (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

    well written edward

    yes adnan sharmeen obaid is one of the organisers



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