DATE: Tuesday 27th May 2014
TIME: 7pm (Doors open 6.30pm)
VENUE: Bella Union Trades Hall – Cnr of Victoria Pde and Lygon St Carlton
COST: Online: $12/$15 +BF | Door: $17/$20
Arts in Action in partnership with the Hazara Arts group proudly presents a screening of “ALIF”, a new Hazaragi film by Mohammad Mehdi Askari about Quetta, Pakistan, the home of many Hazara Asylum Seekers. A first of its kind telefilm, ALIF is currently touring worldwide, and this screening is being supported by John Gulzari, human rights activist, Convenor of Dandenong Greens, Candidate for the Victorian state election and chairperson of the Hazara Arts Group. Includes musical performance by Hazara arts group singers and post film discussion.
ABOUT THE FILM
Quetta used to be a picturesque and peaceful town in the south western province of Pakistan. People from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds lived together in harmony. There was no fear. There was no hatred. People, the old and the young, the men and the women, went about their lives, content knowing that their future was promising.
No sooner had the people of Quetta witnessed the arrival of a new century, that the peace of their picturesque and peaceful town vanished with the rise of what would later become a menace to their very lives. The very people who had aspired a promising future became so unfamiliar with peace that they were forced to doubt their future.
This is not the story of a mythical place. Quetta and its people live on even though the harmony of the town has been torn apart.
The most drastic impact of the worsening situation in Quetta has been felt by the youth. Hazara community in Quetta has always taken a great deal of pride and satisfaction in producing a vast amount of talent in the form of artists, doctors, engineers, businessmen and defence recruits who have gone on to serve at some of the most distinguished ranks in Pakistan Army. The campaign against Hazaras which aims to force the community to leave Pakistan or face persecution, has paralysed its youth who have either resettled in other areas of the country or left their homeland to seek refuge abroad.
The many challenges facing Hazara youth in Quetta have been highlighted in Mehdi Askari’s film Alif (the equivalent of the letter “A” in English which symbolises the beginning). Alif is an endeavour by budding Hazara artists in Pakistan who have felt the need to bring the plight of their community’s youngsters to the attention of Pakistani and International media.
WATCH THE TRAILER