What do you do when you profoundly disagree with someone you love? Wearing a hijab is a touchstone of religious identity, but it is also imbued with a complex array of historical and contemporary meanings. In Alana Valentine’s new play, the cultural meaning of the hijab has become a wedge between generations.
At the heart of Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah is the relationship between an aunt and her niece. Both devout Muslims, the younger woman wants to put on a headscarf, the older woman tries to dissuade her. For Aunt Sarrinah, the hijab represents a world from which she has escaped; for her niece, Shafana, it is a personal statement of renewed faith.
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Female | 40s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 31
EXTRACT: Because I lifted up the veil? I don't know. Because the chador was whiter than the others on the bus? I don't know. Because of the way I was wearing it, I don't know. They put us in jail. The Pakistani jails have no water. No food. People just go to the toilet anywhere. And now we were going to be sent back to Afghanistan. They drove us to the border, we saw the Afghani flag at the border and that's when the dealers came for us again.
Female | 30s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 1
EXTRACT: But there always comes a point where you lose it. Where a whole generation lose touch. They start to listen to what looks like the next thing. It sounds like the next thing and it acts like that next thing but it's not the next thing. The truly astonishing thing about what's coming next is that it's nothing like what this generation were like, old or young. It's utterly unfamiliar.
Not in Print speaks to Australian playwright Alana Valentine about her play 'Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah'.
Dr Christina Ho introduces Alana Valentine's play 'Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah'.