Monday, July 29, 2013

Introducing the Burka Avenger

You might have heard of Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl but it's time to meet a new female superhero...the Burka Avenger! 

Burka Avenger: Pakistan's answer to Wonder Woman

Cartoon fans in Pakistan have been excited by the arrival of the country's first caped crusader, in the form of a female superhero who flies through the air, battling villains using pens and books.

The heroine, Burka Avenger, is certainly an unusual role model for female empowerment in Pakistan: a woman who uses martial arts to battle colorful villains such as Baba Bandooq, a Taliban-esque figure who tries to shut down her school, and Vadero Pajero, a corrupt politician.

But the cartoon, in which a demure schoolteacher, Jiya, transforms into the action heroine by donning a burqa, or traditional cloak, has also triggered an awkward debate about her costume.

"Is it right to take the burqa and make it look 'cool' for children, to brainwash girls into thinking that a burqa gives you power instead of taking it away from you?" asked the novelist and commentator Bina Shah in a blog post.

The criticism has not overshadowed the broader welcome that Burka Avenger, which aired here for the first time on Sunday evening, has received. With slick computer animation, fast-paced action and flashes of humour that even adults can appreciate, the character could offer Pakistanis a new cultural icon akin to Wonder Woman in the United States.

The burqa debate centres on whether her use of the all-covering cloak - albeit a more streamlined version of the one usually seen in Pakistani villages - is subverting a traditional symbol of segregation and oppression or reinforcing it.

Source: The Age

View the trailer below:

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