Revival of the acclaimed Swedish hijabis

By on February 28, 2017

After touring around Sweden will America Vera-Zavalas acclaimed piece Swedish hijabis now returned to the Royal Dramatic Theatre. Five Muslim women with scarf, hijab, talks about reality and everyday life in a society that sees them as unusual. Revival on 2 March.

it turns as much to those who wear the veil as to us, more or less prejudiced. Take the chance to take part of those pieces of life! SvD
The show is straight and simple and very beautiful (…) the self clarity convinces and the tour across the country will be an important popular education effort. Respect!” Aftonbladet
So strong that it bursts within me Feminist Perspective

Benin Al-Najjar, Ruhani Islam, Maryam Dinar, Sarah Ameziane and Shama Vafaipour are five young Swedish women with ordinary interests: baking, visual arts, boxing, photo art, pedagogy. Five Muslim women with scarf that now stands on stage and talk about their lives.

I’ve wanted to do this since 2008 when I had already heard so many stories about what a hijabi is meet off and since then it has only accelerated. Islamophobia is strong and growing in Sweden and Europe today. On the street notice these women of it daily. For my part, I note with interest the criticism coming towards me, towards the idea of letting these women talk, says director America Vera-Zavala.

In the debate, the hijab is often linked to racial prejudice, where Muslim women are portrayed as passive victims. With the set of Swedish hijabis want America Vera-Zavala and the participants to challenge the stereotype.

As hijabi we get rarely to take place and make our voices heard. Instead there is talk about us and for us. This also means that it is missing representation of an important group of women in Sweden. I wanted to be in this play mainly because I want to tell myself about my life as hijabi, and not that someone else do it for me, and to contribute to an increased representation of hijabis in Swedish publicity, says Shama Vafaipour.

Swedish hijabis belongs to the genre community theater, a theater form that is based on people’s own stories. Just like in a traditional theater show has a clear dramaturgy and directing, but here the audience will meet the real people behind the stories.

Swedish hijabis was playwright America Vera-Zavalas debut as a director. In the artistic team also includes choreographer Paloma Madrid and lighting designer Mira Svanberg. Additionally is the show documented by the photographer Elin Berge who in 2006 published the book Slöjor (Atlas).

Swedish hijabis is a guest appearance at the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Community Theatre & Dance and is produced with the support of the Postcode Lottery Cultural Foundation. The premiere took place at the Royal Dramatic Theatre October 14, 2016.

Participants: Benin Al-Najjar, Ruhani Islam, Maryam Dinar, Sarah Ameziane and Shama Vafaipour
Direction and screenplay: America Vera-Zavala
Light: Mira Svanberg
Choreographer: Paloma Madrid
Costume: The ensemble

Talks after the show with Erik Gandini, a professor in the documentary film, and America Vera-Zavala, director, about the work of Swedish hijabis and about to use documentary material on the theater. March 5 at 17:15 to 18:15, Målarsalen

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