Mental health week: Attacking superstition through theatre

Sixteen colleges come together to highlight psychological issues, diseases.

Rahib Raza April 02, 2011


As a part of its Mental Health Week, the Government College University (GCU) organised a Performing Arts Festival on Friday.

As many as 16 colleges and universities participated to project psychological issues and diseases through theatrical performers.

The students depicted several myths and superstitions prevalent in the society. Kinnaird College’s performance was most appreciated by the audience. It revolved around the story of a woman suffering from a psychological ailment, who is taken to a peer by her mother-in-law suspecting black magic. The script tried to highlight women’s vulnerability to peers, who, it implied, were unscrupulous quacks.

The Punjab University Institute of Art and Culture staged a play about people who called themselves spiritual healers and misguided people in the name of religion.

The GCU psychology department presented a mime touching on traditions like Whirling Derwishes, Dhamal and Waris Shah’s Heer. Ashfaq Ahmad’s play Saeen Aur Psychiatrist was also performed and appreciated.

Students of Fatima Jinnah Medical College, Rawalpindi, staged a play on nationalism.

The Punjab University department of psychology also presented a play on childhood trauma and its effects on later life. The play showed how a psychiatrist helps a girl break out from the appalling memories of her childhood.

Students from Garrison College, Bahauddin Zakria University, Multan, and Queen Mary College also participated in the festival.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 02nd, 2011.

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