Desi Drama: Awais Khan, Nayanika Mahtani, Rochelle Potkar & Tanya Daud

Desi Drama: Awais Khan, Nayanika Mahtani, Rochelle Potkar & Tanya Daud

Date/Time: Saturday 12 February 2022 16:00-17:00

Venue: Al Joud Ballroom 1, Hilton, Al Habtoor City

Language: English

Session No: 142 

Join this wonderfully diverse panel of storytellers from India and Pakistan, as they explore changing female narratives in different genre and media, from novels and short stories to poetry and film. The panel will discuss how the space for telling women’s stories has expanded in ‘dramas’ with the rise of digital and web formats; the importance of male allyship in tackling patriarchy; how issues of identity and politics inform their work; as well as the continuing legacy of partition, especially when it comes to telling cross-border stories.

Awais Khan is the author of two novels, In the Company of Strangers and No Honour, which won the World Book Award by Woman and Home Magazine UK. He is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario and Durham University. He has also studied Creative Writing at Faber Academy, London.

Nayanika Mahtani is an award-winning author and screenwriter, based in London. Her books range from historical fiction to multi-generational family sagas. Her latest YA novel Across the Line is presently in development as a film. Nayanika has also co-written the story and screenplay for the film, Shakuntala Devi (a biopic drama), with leading Indian actor Vidya Balan in the titular role. The film released on Amazon Prime Video in July 2020 and ranks amongst Amazon’s ‘Most Watched Hindi Films Worldwide’.

Rochelle Potkar is a poet, author and screenwriter. She is the author of Four Degrees of Separation and Paper Asylum that was shortlisted for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020. Her poetry film Skirt featured on Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland. Her first screenplay was shortlisted at the Atlanta Film Festival Screenwriting competition 2020 and her collection of short stories, Bombay Hangovers, released in 2021 to rave reviews.

Tanya Daud is an Indian-Pakistani theatre artist, filmmaker and curator who identifies herself as a storyteller. She has worked for organisations such as GEO TV and ImageNation Abu Dhabi but is happiest when working in the field on independent projects. Her short documentary, The Absentees, on the Rohingya crisis has been picked up by festivals like the DOC NYC, Silk Road in Ireland, Beirut Intl Film Fest and Let's All Be Free in London. In 2016, she founded Qissa' Go, a theatre company focused on storytelling with South Asian literature and languages.

The discussion is chaired by Saba Karim, author, award-winning filmmaker and educator, whose debut novel, Skyfall, was published by Bloomsbury and her documentary film, Concrete Dreams: Some Roads Lead Home, produced by the Doha Film Institute (DFI), has won awards at global film festivals. She has read Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford and works at NYU Abu Dhabi.

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