Book launched on “Daring women of Pakistan’s folk theater”

-File photo

National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) here on Thursday launched a book on “Forgotten Faces – Daring women of Pakistan’s folk theater” by Dr. Fouzia Saeed to document, preserve and promote indigenous folk culture and heritage of Pakistan.

The book launching ceremony was followed by the live performances featuring Abida (daughter of the outstanding theater artist of her time Balli Jatti), Naznin Mano, Fazal Jat and Saima.

Faridullah Khan, Federal Secretary for National Heritage and Integration, on the occasion said, “Theater has deep routed history in the sub-continent.

It has been an indigenous expression for those polarities of human life, like happiness and sadness, calamities and miracles, heroes and villains, and romances and tragedies.

South Asia being a verbal culture has counted on story-telling as one of its main modes of transferring cultural knowledge from one generation to the next.

The story-telling, over a period of time, has become the major source of entertainment for rural masses”.

He expressed hope that this initiative taken by Lok Virsa will go a long way in acquainting our youth community not only about this dying art form but also contributions of our theatre artists in the past.

Lok Virsa’s Executive Director, Khalid Javaid said “The book in question focuses primarily on the daring women of Pakistan’s folk theatre.

Lok Virsa is a specialized culture and research oriented organization established in the year 1974 with a mandate for collection, documentation, preservation and dissemination of all forms of Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage.

This includes both tangible and intangible heritage. Over the years, this unique institute has made landmark achievements in the field of culture for which it is today known the world over”.

Khalid Javaid said that “Lok Virsa’s mission is to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of all facets of tradition and to broaden public access to this knowledge. It is committed to document and revive folk culture to ensure a strong link of our society with the indigenous layers of our heritage.

The role of women in performing arts has been a theme which has not received the attention it deserves. Dr. Fouzia Saeed did pioneering research on this theme, when she herself was a part of this institute”.

Lok Virsa intends to revive folk theatre and encourage folk music, folk dancing and other forms of folk entertainment, so that the youth should learn about their own roots and get inspired, he added.

Former director Lok Virsa Dr. Mrs. Shamim M Zaidi who is presenting heading the department of communication at the Fatima Jinnah Women University also spoke on the occasion and praised for the contribution of the author.

A large number of people related to the folk theatre, besides general public also attended the event.