A Pakistani refugee camp. A family displaced by war. Such is the focus of the documentary A Walnut Tree, a stunningly poetic and clear-eyed account of the turbulent internal conflict that occurs when people are uprooted from their homeland and forced to reside in an unstable refugee camp. From a compassionate distance, director Ammar Aziz casts his lens upon the elderly Baba, a former poet, teacher and grandfather of the family in question. Consumed by his memories of life before war and fearful of his family’s uncertain future, A Walnut Tree allows us to witness life from behind his eyes, and by proxy the many other displaced people around the globe today.
“Baba really becomes a metaphor of the collective pain of that land. As an educator and a poet, he gives a familiar face to the Pashtun people who are usually seen as ‘the others’.” – Ammar Aziz, Director.
Ammar Aziz / Pakistan / 81 minutes / Pashto with English Subtitles / Documentary
“My home is in my art where i try to make sense of the perpetual systemic violence, use it as weapon to resist and to fight, inspiration to create beauty and joy, and, as meditation to stand my ground. It embodies me, and i perpetuate it.
My process is not intellectual, cerebral or emotional but instinctive, and it doesn’t require effort from me to be ‘with it’. Art is not my hobby neither it is a commercial enterprise, and so, i don’t experience the famed ‘writer’s block’; art is life, and there’s no stopping it. When not writing with hands, i write with thoughts, feel the ‘feels’, imagine the real, stretch ideas, challenge forms- all to be able to wriggle out of the numerous constructs built around me with the purpose of enslaving my mind in order to obstruct the independent flight of my imagination.”
“we are the evolution, the continuation, we are the haluci nation, our dna is of earth and sky, our dna is of the past and the future. the people. the people.”
WE won’t leave
we won’t leave standing rock
over our dead bodies
we won’t move
we will stand our ground
Intention is built into sound
in the cry, the sigh and moan
Yesterday, i had an interesting conversation about my just-launched novel The Adventures of SahebaN: Biography of a Relentless Warrior with Pamela Bentley and RC Weslowski, two of my favorite poets, slam artists and radio hosts at Vancouver’s CO-OP Radio. You can listen to it if you like. There are excerpts from the first SahebaN story […]
via Waxing (non) Poetic at Vancouver’s CO-OP Radio — Fauzia Rafique
Sana Janjua is a poet, performer and playwright. Her writings have been published at The Laaltain and Uddari Weblog, and she has presented monologues at various cultural and literary venues. Her play Migration, written and directed for a group of Pakistani-Canadian youth, expresses the experience of loneliness and pathos of (forced) migration and exile. Her monologue Smaller Names explores the dynamics of silencing of women’s stories, and the trauma and shame they endure as they speak. As well, her poems and monologues focus on the invalidating environments produced by neoliberalism. She has hosted events for Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Women’s International Day, Surrey Muse, and numerous book launching ceremonies for authors. Sana is now working on a full-length play and a chapbook of her poetry and essays. She is a Founding Member and the President of Surrey Muse.
Sana is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, and enjoys working in the field of mental health.
View Sana’s poems
At the November 25 gathering of Surrey Muse, Sana will present at the Open Mic. More information about the event is here: