Artist: Shahid Nadeem, Ajoka (theater group)
Date of Action: March 2010
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Religion
Medium: Theatre "Theatre" is not in the list (Commercial Advertising, Dance, Design, Installation, Journalism, Literature, Mixed Media, Music, Online, Painting, ...) of allowed values for the "Has medium" property.
Confronting Bodies: Pakistani government
Description of Artwork: "Burqavaganza" is a satirical play that mocks Pakistani radical muslims, as well as the burqa: religious attire that completely covers a woman's body. Every character in the play, male and female, wears a burqa, which is meant to be an allegory for hypocrisy.
The Incident: The play enjoyed considerable success, including being run three times at the National Art Gallery in Islamabad (a prized venue) before the Pakistan National Council of the Arts and the Ministry of Culture banned the play. "A senior official at the Ministry of Culture said the play 'pollutes young minds' and 'should not be shown anywhere in Pakistan.'"
Results of Incident: The play was performed one additional time after the ban, when Ajoka scheduled another play to be performed, and then switched back to Burqavaganza at the last moment. Otherwise, all productions have been stopped.
See also www.ajoka.org.pk/ajoka/burqa.asp