Ideas and Futures is proud to present its first collaboration with Brecht films. We believe this film is unique in its attention to the thinking people are doing on ground. We thank Qalander Memon and his team for producing this spectacular film.
Brecht films & Ideas and Futures PRESENT:
AIK: WORKERS OF LAHORE (2022)
On 15th January, 2021, Baba Jan, President from Gilgit-Baltistan of the socialist party, Awami Workers Party, came to Lahore after his release from imprisonment of nearly 9 years, to learn from and understand the situation the workers in Lahore had faced during the years of lockdown and Covid-19.
Shiraz Khan, a seller of rugs and carpets, hails from Attabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one of the hundreds of thousands of seasonal migrant workers in Lahore. He has been selling carpets in Lahore for 20 years. He had first met Baba Jan more than 10 years ago at the leftist cafe (Cafe Bol) where Baba Jan had held political discussion in the winter of 2009.
Muhammad Sabir, runs a school called Slumabad (www.slumabad.org) for the Pakhiwas community. Baba Jan met him along with Sabir’s students and their parents including Kiran Baji. They met at the famous Khan Baba Chapli Kabab and Fish Shop in a backstreet of Main Market, Gulberg for lunch. The Pakhiwas community has historically and, even now, been considered low-caste and untouchable. While Pakistanis, including leftists, rarely note caste as an organizing category, it remains one of the main determinants of how social, economic and political life is organized in Pakistan. Therefore, Baba Jan wanted to learn from Sabir about the relation between caste and class.
Samina Farooq and Muneza Ishaq run the Domestic Workers Union. There are hundreds of thousands of domestic workers in Pakistan, who are mostly women, who they are largely non-unionized. Working as they do, isolated in different houses, unionizing domestic workers has remained difficult. Baba Jan went to meet Samina to learn about the life and struggle of domestic workers and their unionziation through the Domestic Workers Union.
Both Muhammad Ashraf and Muhammad Shareef run second hand book stalls at the famous Sunday Book Bazar, Anarkali, Lahore. The market was shut-down during Covid-19 lockdowns by the government and the booksellers lost their main source of income. Baba Jan met them to learn about how they survived the lockdowns.
Neeli Rana is a member of the transgender community and one of its leading activists in Pakistan. She began her activism for the rights of the transgender community in 1987 and she was one of the leaders of the campaign that resulted in the legislation of the Transgender Protection Bill through the Senate of Pakistan in 2017. Baba Jan met her in Model Town park, Lahore, to discuss the issues faced by the transgender community.
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