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"Burka Avenger" - First animated series produced in Pakistan

education pakistan cartoons equality

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#1 sierraleone

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 03:13 PM

I came across an article on a this cartoon. Apparently awareness of it exploded on social media before it was even aired, just this last Sunday. I can't find a way to view the first episode yet, but the first trailer is easy enough.

It is aimed towards school-aged children (under 10ish) I would presume. The show is about a teacher, Jiya, who has an alter-ego as a burqa-clad 'ninja' to fight those who would try to shut down the school she teaches in (or fight any other cause of her's I imagine). She wields pens & books as her weapons.

She also was adopted when young, it is her adopted father that taught her this type of martial-arts that uses pens & books as weapons. The other protagonists are three students - a pair of twins and their best friend who has a pet goat that hangs with them.

They have a website and when you go to it you can view the trailer. It pops up, and the one they have pop-up is the English version one.

http://www.burkaavenger.com/

I, of course, find this awesome :) And apparently they are getting the musical talent in Pakistan to contribute to the series, so it is getting some local pop-cultural support for the series and its messages as well.

Some local women's rights groups do not like the use of the burqa, they view it as a symbol of oppression being used as a symbol of resistance. The show-creator implies it would be difficult and probably more divisive to dress the heroine as western media does (i.e. in tight revealing clothes). He stated she uses the burka simply to hide her identity, as a mask/costume. When she is a school teacher she doesn't even wear a headscarf.

Edited by sierraleone, 30 July 2013 - 03:15 PM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#2 Christopher

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 05:03 PM

This is a cool idea. The thing about the custom of veiling is that it wasn't originally a tool of male oppression of women, nor did it have anything to do with Islam. (The Qur'an says nothing about it beyond saying that women should keep their breasts covered.) Veiling probably originated among upper-class women in the Byzantine Empire as a way of distinguishing themselves from lower-class women who were often sex workers, dancing girls, or even slaves. It was a way to get around being defined by their sexuality and thus gain more status and equality.

And even in later cultures where men did co-opt the custom of veiling as a way to keep women "in their place," it's often been empowering in a subversive way by giving women anonymity and freedom of movement they might otherwise be denied. Even in the most oppressive societies, that anonymity has let veiled women smuggle resistance literature, weapons, or cameras, like the ones that burqa-clad Pakistani women used to videotape Taliban atrocities and smuggle the proof out to the world. Or, for that matter, educational materials to get around Taliban restrictions on children's or women's education, which seems like what this show is an allegory for.

So, really, the idea of a burqa-clad superheroine battling injustice is entirely fitting, since it has real-life precedent. Heck, I included a similar character in my novel Only Superhuman, and seeing that clip of the Burka Avenger was almost like seeing my character brought to life.

Edited by Christopher, 30 July 2013 - 05:05 PM.

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#3 sierraleone

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 10:32 AM

I was thinking - should this be moved to General Media Discussion? I can't recall the last time a fictional TV show was the subject of a thread in Orbis Terrarum. Even if there is discussions to be had about cultural impact, or controversial aspects, of the show the threads usually start, and stay, in GMD. Seems more appropriate. So if there is no reasons not to move it to GMD can a mod move it there please :)
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#4 EChatty

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 06:24 AM

I don't see any reason not to move it to GMD, if the OP doesn't mind.

#5 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 11:32 AM

The first episode, with english subtitles, is now on YouTube!   They posted it on the show's official channel.   :)

I haven't watched it yet, but I plan to.  :)

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Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 13 August 2013 - 11:33 AM.

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#6 sierraleone

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 12:39 PM

^ Cool. Thanks. Gives me something to do while I am stuck at home with a cast on my leg ;)
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html



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