Joe’s Pub, New York – UNIFICATION 2010 began at 11pm on August 14, Pakistan’s Independence Day and ended in the early hours of August 15, India’s Independence Day, in an attempt to ‘bridge midnight,’ as the organizers, Sathya Sridharan and Pushkar Sharma of BROWNSTAR put it.
YouTube videos don’t do the young, hip and multi-talented performers justice. Among the artists were Fair and Kind, with a beautiful tone and sound to them; Zehra Fazal, who with her tongue-in-cheek lyrics was a brilliant surprise; The Kominas, a taqwacore band from Boston (a genre on its own that would take up an entire article) musical geniuses – who knew Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hain could be set to punk rock?; Hari Kondabolu, well, Hari brought along a witty ensemble, which included Ajay Naidu and Heather Burns, and they re-enacted a screenplay about South Asian stereotypes that purportedly has been doing the channel rounds, and hopefully never gets made! They were all enthusiastically brought onstage by BROWNSTAR, a spoken-word, smart comic duo, whose politics aims to unite all brown as one people.
Proceeds will support South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) and it was announced at the show that half of it was further going to support Pakistan’s flood victims. The artist, Omar Waqar sang, “They call it partition; it’s more like separation.” The event left you hopeful for its message. Happy birthday, Pakistan and India.
A Few Upcoming Events:
The Kominas at Basement Bhangra, S.O.B’s, 204 Varick Street, New York, 8/19 @ 8:00pm www.komin.as
Zehra Fazal’s Headscarf and the Angry Bitch, Studio at Cherry Lane 38 Commerce Street, New York, 8/20 @ 3:45pm. www.zehrafazal.com
BROWNSTAR in Faster than the Speed of White, 4th Street Theatre, New York, 8/20 – 8/26, multiple times. www.brownstarrevolution.com
Hari Kondabolu, Comedy and Social Justice, Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave, Seattle, 8/24 @ 7:00pm www.harithecomic.com
As reported from the street by Rianka Mohan Udas.
The Kominas singing their version of “Manji Vich Daang”