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Adventures of Amir Hamza and Partition Tales
Morrison Hall
Berkeley, CA
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Adventures of Amir Hamza and Partition Tales

A dastangoi - story telling in Urdu - performance by the inimitable Mahmood Farooqui. The two dastans (stories) that will be narrated are:

The Adventures of Amir Hamza: The tale of Amar Aiyyar and Mehtab, the Sorcerer (Watch out for the Shringar Rasa poetry as Amar dresses himself up as a woman.)

Selections from the Partition Dastan: A dastanic take on the traumas and absurdities of the partition of the subcontinent in 1947.

About Dastangoi
Dastangoi is the once thriving art of Urdu storytelling in North India which came to an abrupt end with the death of the last great practitioner in 1928. Mahmood Farooqui's perfomance of this lost art will be based on the pioneering work S. R. Faruqi, this great Urdu scholar and practitioner of this art. This is a rare opportunity to experience this unique art form, and participate in its revival --which has been underway since 2005. For more information on this art form see: Dastangoi Blogspot

About the Artist
Mahmood Farooqui of New Delhi, India is a dynamic figure whose range of interests and activities make it difficult to categorize him: he is at once a historian, a theatre persona, a filmmaker, and a critic. He might best be characterized as a cultural critic, and he is one with impressive scholarly credentials. His academic training includes degrees from St. Stephens College, Delhi University, Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar), and Cambridge University. His scholarly publications include his recently published book of translations (from Persian and Urdu) of documents that provide keen insights into the everyday experience of the Rebellion of 1857-58 in Delhi, Besieged: Voices from Delhi, 1857 (New Delhi: Penguin/Viking, 2010).

Farooqui's scholarly work notwithstanding, he is perhaps best known in India for his film Peepli Live (2010), which he co-directed, a scathing critique of post-liberalization media culture and politics in India.

In addition to these impressive accomplishments, Farooqui is also almost single-handedly reviving a traditional performance art of story-telling, dastangoi. He has published on this subject, and received awards for his cultural work in this arena. His engagement with dastangoi is more than scholarly, however. Farooqui is a performance artist who is reviving this art form through his own practice. His performances have been critically acclaimed.

Mr. Farooqui will be a Scholar-in-Residence at the Center in November 2013. He will be with us for the first two weeks and during this time, in addition to this Nov 3 performance, will give another performance in the South Bay on November 8 performances, participate in a Guftugu with UC Berkeley Historian, Munis Faruqui, and will conduct two workshops for aspiring Dastangos. Please visit for more updated information about his UC Berkeley schedule.

This is a unique opportunity to see a traditional art form in a modern guise. As always, all of our events are free and open to the public; we very much hope to see you there!

This event is sponsored by the Berkeley Urdu Initiative.


Morrison Hall (View)
125 Morrison Hall, UC Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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