Salzburg Global Fellow to Take Part in Dara Film Screening and Panel Discussion





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May 03, 2017
by Oscar Tollast
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Salzburg Global Fellow to Take Part in Dara Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Critically acclaimed play Dara to be screened for free in Oxford at All Souls College, The Old Library Akhtar at Session 564 Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism

Salzburg Global Fellow Anwar Akhtar will take part in a panel discussion and Q&A following a screening of the highly applauded Dara later this week.

The play, adapted from work by Ajoka Theatre, is a portrayal of the seventeenth century Moghul Royals the Shah Jahan family and addresses debates surrounding religious freedom and practice.

Dara was the first Pakistani play to be chosen and adapted by the UK's National Theatre in London. This came to fruition after Akhtar brought a CD of Dara to the theater's attention.

On Friday, May 5, a free film screening of the play will take place in Oxford at All Souls College, The Old Library, starting at 6 pm. 

Akhtar, having played a key role in Dara's creative team, will take part in a panel discussion and audience Q&A after the screening.

Akhtar, director of The Samosa and production consultant to the National Theatre and Ajoka Theatre, is a multi-time Salzburg Global Fellow, and most recently a participant at the December 2016 session, Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism.

Prior to this, Akhtar also helped facilitate working groups at the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators both in 2014 and 2015, where he premiered the filmed recording of the critically acclaimed play. 

The play was praised for its ability to "reach people that political debate cannot" with the central trial scene especially applauded. It created much public debate on culture, history and religious tolerance. 

This Friday, in addition to the screening of the play, Akhtar will take part in a discussion with Polly O’Hanlon, Professor of Indian History and Culture at the Oriental Institute, Oxford University.

This discussion will be moderated by Salzburg Global senior advisor Edward Mortimer, author of Faith and Power: the Politics of Islam, and former Director of Communications for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

To book a ticket for this event, please visit

Entrance is on a first come first serve basis. You must register for the event and arrive at 5.40pm to be seated. The screening will begin at 6 pm. Latecomers may not be able to enter if capacity is reached.

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