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Indian Film Star and Activist Speaks at The University of Texas at Austin Campus

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Shabana Azmi at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2006.Photo source: Wikimedia Commons 

Event: The South Asia Institute presents “A Conversation with Shabana Azmi” as part of its Golden Jubilee at the university.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2 p.m., seating begins at 1:30 p.m.

Where: Texas Union Theater, UNB 2.228

Background: Shabana Azmi, an actress, social activist and diplomat, will speak during a roundtable discussion, which will focus on her career in social activism, issues in Indian cinema, and Hindi-Urdu language and literature.

The face of independent Indian cinema, Azmi has come to occupy a unique and prominent place in modern South Asian cultural history. The daughter of a renowned Urdu poet (her father, Kaifi Azmi) and a well-known actress (Shaukat Azmi), she became a young star of the New Indian Cinema in the 1970s. She has since starred in more than 60 films, including Deepa Mehta’s “Fire” and Roland Joffe’s “City of Joy.”

Azmi has played an equally important role as social activist. She has led several national campaigns against the ostracism of people with AIDS in India. She has championed the cause of the marginalized, denouncing violent religious communalism in the subcontinent. She has served in the Indian Parliament since 1997 and has been a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for India.

The event is sponsored by the South Asia Institute and co-sponsored by the Hindi Urdu Flagship program and the Departments of Asian Studies and Religious Studies.