A three-hour stage show in Surrey will recognize 15 women who have made “substantial contributions to the development of our communities through literature, art, scholarship and activism.”
Surrey Muse Arts Society is set to present “Women Who Named the Unnamed: Pakistan’s & Local Women Heroes” at Surrey City Hall’s Centre Stage on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 28.
The 15 women – writers, activists, lawyers, actors and others – are from Pakistan, Surrey and Vancouver.
“In gratitude, and with immense joy, we recognize and celebrate life by telling the stories of some of the most inspiring and courageous women of our time,” says a post on the event’s website (pakistanswomenheroes.wordpress.com).
The stage show, to include short videos and props “to communicate the ‘feel’ of women’s work and contributions to our cultures and societies,” will be hosted by five women – Sana Janjua, Hafsah Umar Durrani, Sameena Siddiqui, Hina Imam and Mariam Zohra D.
Tickets for the event are $25 each via tickets.surrey.ca, or call 604-501-5566.
Writer Fauzia Rafique, co-ordinator of Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS), said the “groundbreaking” event deserves attention because “for the first time in Surrey, it creates and holds space for Pakistani women, South Asian women and women of colour, as it helps us shed some myths about Muslim women.
Also, Rafique said the event is “a prototype” to be filmed and screened in other places in B.C., Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
The 15 women profiled in the show are divided into three categories, including “Tribute to the Brilliance” (Sabeen Mahmud, Fahmida Riaz, Asma Jahangir, Madeeha Gauhar, Sarah Suhail), “Honor/Cherish the Continuity” (Sheema Kirmani, Kishwar Naheed, Hina Jilani, Huma Safdar, Mukhtaran Mai) and “Celebrate the (here and) Now” (Sunera Thobani, Surjeet Kalsey, Harsha Walia, Darshan Mann, Deanne Reder).
The five women in the “Celebrate the (here and) Now” category have been invited to attend as guests, along with Katheren Szabo, who will be recognized as a Surrey Women of Courage.
“We have received generous support from City of Surrey’s Cultural Grants, Hari Sharma Foundation, concerned departments at the UBC, KPU and UFV, among others,” Rafique noted. “The project is guided by almost a dozen advisers including Renee Sarojni Saklikar and Heidi Greco from Surrey.”