So, this blog is supposed to be a way, primarily, for me to start discussions around the art I am tying to make. At present, that involves working on the Arts Council of England supported play “Hurr”. So what exactly is it about?
Well, a lot of people will have seen footage on TV of black clad mourners in Lebanon, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran. They may well have seen them beating their chests in rhythmic mourning to the beat of songs. This religious ritual, Ashura, like all such ritual is based on a story. And its a part of that story that I intend to tell.
Ashura, commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of the prophet and the third Shia Imam, at the hands of a tyrannical government. The forces of that government are willing to go to any lengths to crush what they see as a danger to the security of their state, including committing acts which their contemporaries perceive as war crimes.
An important part of this story concerns the fate of Hurr. He was the foremost soldier of the tyrannical government, yet, he choose to defect and is commemorated today as a great hero by the Shia.
But what relevance, you are more than entitled to ask, has the killing of a man, however heroic, in the burning light of seventh century Mesopotamia to our lives, here and now?
I hope to answer this question through this blog and, more importantly, through the work itself.