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Power, Privilege, and Agency

What Do the Women Say? 2020

Celebrating the Centennial of U.S. Women’s Right to Vote

Each year, Golden Thread celebrates International Women’s Day with What Do the Women Say?, a curated evening showcasing the work of leading Middle Eastern women artists. The year 2020’s theme is Power, Privilege, and Agency: an artistic exploration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting [white] women’s constitutional right to vote in the U.S.

March 8, 2020

Brava Theater Center

2781 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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This year’s program showcases the work of leading Middle Eastern women artists and examines the ways in which artists express political agency in cultural production. With a lineup of acclaimed artists surveying their diverse Middle Eastern cultures, the singular evening celebrates women who reject narrowly defined stereotypes to take ownership of their creative processes and carve out their own innovative identities.

The event includes an excerpt from animated series Marvel Rising featuring Kathreen Khavari as the voice of Ms Marvel, the first Muslim super hero and. The program also features accomplished Egyptian violinist Basma Edrees and Iranian dancer, Aisan Hoss performing Nuance, An Immigration Story, a collaboration that also includes Ava Nazar on piano and Susu Pampanin on percussion. The last artist in the lineup is award-winning Iranian playwright, Naghmeh Samini, whose play The Language of Wild Berries, will premiere at Golden Thread in fall 2020. Atosa Babaof, Damien Seperi, and Ali-Moosa Mirza will perform an excerpt of the play as a staged reading.

After the presentations, Founding Artistic Director Torange Yeghiazarian will facilitate a conversation with the participating artists and special guest, Sabina Zafar, the vice-mayor of San Ramon.

Marvel Rising is an American media franchise produced by Marvel Animation based on characters from Marvel Comics. The franchise focuses on the Secret Warriors, a diverse team of teenage superheroes who must band together to defend the world from powerful threats. Kamala Khan, created by Sana Amanat, G. Willow Wilson, and Adrian Alphona and featuring the voice of Kathreen Khavari, is the fourth character to take the name Ms. Marvel. Khan first appeared in Captain Marvel #17 (November 2013) and is a 16-year-old Pakistani-American from Jersey City, New Jersey, who idolizes Carol Danvers, the first character to use the moniker Ms. Marvel. Premiering in February 2014, Khan was given her own Ms. Marvel series becoming Marvel Comics’ first Muslim character to headline her own comic book. The first collected volume of this series, Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story.

Nuance is a piece that incorporates Basma and Aisan’s immigration experience coming to the US from their respective countries; Egypt and Iran. The piece incorporates Egyptian and Iranian influences portraying their roots, as well as contemporary and western classical influences portraying their artistic training in the US. Artistically, they are both: Eastern and Western, but does society allow you to be both or does it seek to put you in a categorical box that is simpler than the nuanced reality of the human experience? This piece seeks to dwell upon the struggles that come along with immigrating to a new land, the questions surrounding identity, leaving all that one knows, and the courage needed to face the new. These ideas are brought together and illustrated in Nuance through music and dance.

Golden Thread will premiere The Language of Wild Berries by Naghmeh Samini in fall 2020. The play depicts a couple, Donya and Davood, celebrating their wedding anniversary by traveling to the same sea side town where they spent their honeymoon. But on this trip, their 10th anniversary, a mysterious young man is following them. Who is he? What does he want? Trying to solve the mystery of the young man throws Donya and Davood into a time warp recalling their past nine anniversary trips. They remember what they have forgotten. But will that be enough to save their marriage? The U.S. Premiere of The Language of Wild Berries is Samini’s first production in English in the United States.

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Artist Bios

Kathreen Khavari

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Naghmeh Samini

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Basma Edrees

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Ava Nazar

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Aisan Hoss

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Sabina Zafar

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Each year, Golden Thread Productions celebrates International Women’s Day with What Do the Women Say?, which showcases the work of leading Middle Eastern women artists. Previous programs have focused on dismantling patriarchy, the resilience of Syrian women who build community through their art, and artists who explore sex and sexuality. Past featured artists include Elmaz Abinader (This House, My Bones), Majeda Al Saqqa (Culture and Free Thought Association, Gaza Strip), Anita Amirrezvani (The Blood of Flowers, Equal to the Sun), Nawal el Saadawi (Memoirs from the Women’s Prison), Denmo Ibrahim (Baba, ECSTASY | a waterfable), Maryam Keshavarz (Circumstance), Rohiha Malek (Unveiled), Nabila Mango (executive director, Zawaya), Ayesha Mattau (Love Inshallah), Zahra Noorbakhsh (All Atheists are Muslim, #GoodMuslimBadMuslim), Shahrnush Parsipur (The Prison Memoirs, Women Without Men), Betty Shamieh (The Black Eyed, Territories), Deema Shehabi (Thirteen Departures From the Moon), Seema Sueko (Remains), and Rosemary Toohey (The Body Washer), and Dina Zarif.

Golden Thread is thankful for the support of our sponsors WomenArts, Brava For Women in the Arts, and Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at San Francisco State University.

Golden Thread Productions

1695 18th Street, #C101
San Francisco, CA 94107
Box Office: boxoffice@goldenthread.org
Office: information@goldenthread.org
Phone: 415.626.4061

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