Centre Stage: Gender, Politics And Performance In South Asia – Ed. Sheema Kermani, Asif Farrukhi & Kamran Asdar Ali


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Political struggle and cultural activism have a shared history in South Asia, dating back to colonial-era resistance and protest.

The pre-Independence Indian Peoples’ Theatre Association and the Progressive Writers’ Movement were powerful vehicles for both dissent and creative expression, through theatre and the written word. Post-Independence language movements in Bengal and Tamil Nadu; individual instances of artists and writers defying censorship and state authority; maverick performers forging a new, unconventional idiom; and dancers and actors who refused to be restrained, are the inspiration for this volume.

This offering is unique because it brings together, for the first time, accounts, analyses and anecdotes by practitioners from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, that explore this history of innovation and protest, and present a subcontinental narrative of aesthetic experimentation, political engagement and progressive social change.

It also commemorates thirty years of Tehrik-e-Niswan in Pakistan, an organisation that has been in the forefront of advocating the rights of women, minorities and the marginalised; and continues valiantly to uphold the South Asian tradition of performing resistance.


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