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Linking Young Minds Together
  Volume 6 | Issue 31 | August 05, 2012 |


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Youth in Action

Retrospective on 'Red and Yellow'

Hiya Islam

Photo: Refaiyet Hussain

A group of paper puppets entered the screen when one's gaze was diverted to a solitary silhouette in a corner of the coffee shop. Yellow left her group to join Red for a cup of coffee. Little had they expected to become fast friends. Or even fall in love. As the narration ended and the screen went dark, two spot lights fell on the two dancers on stage as Yanni's 'In the morning Light' filled the auditorium.

Through dance, the women realise their feelings as they construct their own sanctuary in a conservative society. As the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) Right's activists lobby relentlessly, the antagonists start rooting out the queer community, harassing them and violating human rights. In the midst of this chaos, the lovers are separated. Yellow searches for Red frantically, joins the activists, petitioning for marriage equality. The story continues, bringing in complications and exploring themes on gender, sexuality, relationships, rights and wrongs etc.

The play was a mixture of dance and silent drama. Paper puppets were used to help the audience spiral into the strangeness of the characters' predicaments. The sequence followed mostly contemporary and fusion movements that can be categorised under creative dance

The two main aims behind this story were: upholding the importance of identity equality and the concept of 'Waiting for Superman.' In his book 'Waiting for Superman', Godot talks about the concept of waiting for a 'miracle' to fix our lives. In dire times, parents wait for children to go to medical school, get married, go abroad, thinking that if their children get these, everything will work out. Life never works that way. Life happens to us.

LGBTQ movement aims to level the platform for individuals who identify themselves as Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender and Queer. In this country the transgender people are mostly below the poverty line, forced to work as sex workers or threat people for money. They used to be temple cleaners in the past but now, this is what they have been reduced to; living in excluded communities.

My uncle remarked that this play was out of context, since there are no “people like that” here in Bangladesh. The level of ignorance and apathy is depressing. Those who have friends, who identify themselves as “queer” are believed to be diseased or traumatised. People often think that homosexuality is a biological deficiency.

The two lovers wait for the policy change however even after that, things do not work out in the story because, one has been married off. In reality, policy implementation takes time and even after legalisation, society would take time to adjust. We need to make the most of life, which implies making choices. The importance of this, I tried to highlight in the ending where there is no definite ending except their poignant reunion. This is applicable to all of us, despite who we love, how we love or who we worship. A hearty thanks goes to the Drama Theatre Forum of BRAC University for being open minded and allowing me to stage this in their show “Dramatic!”

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