Arts Speaker Series 2017-2018
"Conquerors of Shame: Women in Punjabi Theatre" by Ranbir Johal, LANC department
Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
Surrey Boardroom, Cedar 2110
Everybody is welcome!
Ranbir Johal was always struck by the paradoxical nature of Punjabi theatre. The plight of women was a favourite subject matter amongst early Punjabi playwrights but women themselves were absent on and behind the stage. The dominance of men in the theatre and the strong presence of the affect “shame” within the Punjabi community may have contributed to the silencing of women’s voices. However, a handful of women have been able to create a niche for themselves in this male dominated genre. Rani Balbir Kaur, Neelam Mansingh Chaudhury, Navnindra Behl and Neena Tiwana are four women who have contributed greatly to Punjabi theater. Understanding what has allowed these women to enjoy success in a field that has largely excluded females was the central concern of the research Ranbir Johal conducted from February to April of 2017 when she interviewed these women to collect their oral histories.