5 random things: Blackface, Madam, wth?

blackface, madam, ladies only montage

This past week was a roller coaster ride of wth (that’s ‘what the hell’ for our more sophisticated readers). From the film scene, to the fashion industry to the ever, ever elusive legal sector, everything was confusing. What bizarre abyss have we fallen into? Nothing seems to follow simple common sense anymore. And in honour of that, I give you five things that left me gasping for words. Seriously, wth?


1. Alee Hassan ‘accidental’ Blackface: wth?

If you haven’t heard by now, fashion photographer Alee Hassan uploaded an image that was confused let’s just say. It features his ‘muse’ dipped in black paint and sporting big, coarse hair.

Yes, that’s right. He went down the fashionable blackface route.

He later stated that that was never his intention. And I believe him. At least, I think I do.

However, given Pakistani fashion’s history I’m a bit perturbed. Remember when a magazine published a photo shoot literally titled ‘be my slave’?

Also, given our often forgotten past with slavery and people of African descent, I’m just going to say it; wth?


2. Project Ghazi postponed, midway through screening: wth?


So, most of you will know that I was really excited about Project Ghazi. Marketed as Pakistan’s first superhero film, it was also a return to sci-fi for us. So I was particularly upset when midway through its premier, the film’s release was postponed. Apparently, there were technical issues with the film.

I don’t know what I’m more confused about.

The fact that the production team green lit the premier. Or the fact that midway through the premier star Humayun Saeed walked out.



3. Ice-cream commercial ban: wth?

Last week also saw the release of the first Igloo Ice-cream commercial in a long time.

It was formulaic to say the least. Resembling the Magnum commercials of yore. And of course it couldn’t have stopped at that.

PEMRA banned the commercial for vulgar innuendos. 

Yes, we are banning things because of what they might be suggesting. Wth?


4. Jimmy Khan ‘Madam’, Pakistan wth?

Some days ago, Jimmy Khan released the official video for his song ‘Madam’. The song and the video portray a day in the life of the trans community. It has a decidedly humorous tone. Which actually makes it even more unsettling. I think all of us have heard stories about what it feels like to be trans in Pakistan. I don’t think any of us were expecting the depiction to be so shocking.

It is moving, it is powerful. And, seriously Pakistan, wth?


5. Yusra Amjad poem, patriarchy wth?

I have written about Ladies Only before. I believe my exact words were that they take a “sledgehammer to patriarchy”. And I am so glad to see that they are sharing their platform with others who do the same. Yusra Amjad’s spoken word poem is a stark reminder of the many hypocrisies of patriarchy. Never has a ‘wth’ encapsulated my emotions more perfectly.

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