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Forgotten Faces: Daring Women of Pakistan's Folk Theatre

Fouzia Saeed (Author)

Throughout our history, women in the performing arts have contributed immensely to Pakistan's cultural heritage. They have enriched our lives through their artistic performances, despite experiencing serious personal hardships and social stigma for engaging in their chosen profession. Forgotten Faces acknowledges the contribution of the women who performed in Pakistan's rural folk theatre and provides a women's perpective on this entertainment business.

This book describes the nimadic theatre companies that once romed widely across the sub-contiment, providing entertainment for the rural masses. The book covers the period of the folk theatre in Pakistan from their heyday in 1980s when this rntertainment genre had all but disappeared. The culture of these theatre groups, the lives of the actors, their engagement with their audiences, and the dynmics of their business and personal relationships have been captured in a manner that removes the veneer of romance to reveal the reakity beneath.

The core of the book highlights the lives of several prominent women of Pakistan's folk theatre. The life of the legendary Bali Jatti, a widely popular theater actress who became the only women to own and manage a theater group forms the centrepiece of the narrative. He bittersweet reminiscences reveal both the joys she obtained from the adulation of the audiences as well as the sorrows she endured throughout her entire life whenever she was off the tage.

The historical patterns seen in the lives of these women continue to echo in the lives of the female performers in our modern television and film industries, but working women in any field can easily relate to the balance these women had to strike between family, the public and the calling of their professions.

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About the author

Fouzia Saeed

Fouzia Saeed is the author of "Taboo! The Hidden Culture of a Red Light Area", a popular book that uses the story of Lahore's traditional prostitutions culture as a vehicle in Pakistan. As with Taboo! she conducted the researcch for this current book whilst serving at Lok Virsa, Pakistan's National Institute for Folk Art and Culture. She has always supported the creative elements in her society and encouraged women in the performing arts at every opportunity.

Her other identity is that of a social acticist. Her work on women's rights over the past two decades led to the this work throught her role as a founding member of the human rights institute, Mehergarh and an alliance for working women known as AASHA.

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Bibliographic information

Title Forgotten Faces: Daring Women of Pakistan's Folk Theatre
Author Fouzia Saeed
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2011
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
length 128p., Illustrations; Chiefly Colour; 23cm.