Tasveer Festival: Navigating Contested Gender Terrains - Dundurn

Tasveer Festival: Navigating Contested Gender Terrains

Using genres, ranging from mystery to autobiographical narrative, this panel of writers — Farzana Doctor (Seven), Avni Doshi, Veena Rao, Tahmima Anam, and Homeira Qaderi — explores themes of child prostitution, intimate partner violence, maternal mortality, and FGM at the Tasveer Festival. They bring to light themes that dwell in the shadows of society.

About the book:

A brave, soulfully written feminist novel about inheritance and resistance that tests the balance between kinship and the fight against customs that harm us.

When Sharifa accompanies her husband on a marriage-saving trip to India in 2016, she thinks that she’s going to research her great-great-grandfather, a wealthy business leader and philanthropist. What captures her imagination is not his rags-to-riches story, but the mystery of his four wives, missing from the family lore. She ends up excavating much more than she had imagined.

Sharifa’s trip coincides with a time of unrest within her insular and conservative religious community, and there is no escaping its politics. A group of feminists is speaking out against khatna, an age-old ritual they insist is female genital cutting. Sharifa’s two favourite cousins are on opposite sides of the debate and she seeks a middle ground. As the issue heats up, Sharifa discovers an unexpected truth and is forced to take a position.