By Komola Collective.
The year is 1971; the war of independence tears through Bangladesh, and no part of the country is left untouched.
Amidst this unrest and violence, Moryom still remembers the calming details of her life before: the taste of tamarind, the smell of her mother, holding her husband’s hand. But the Kalbosheki Storm is coming. In a small village, Moryom and her family wait fearfully for its arrival. Every day they hide from the army in the pond behind their house, while across the country women are disappearing from streets and homes. When the storm finally hits, it will tear away everything. Birangona means ‘Brave Woman’. In the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence from Pakistan, more than 200,000 women and girls were systematically raped and tortured.
After Bangladesh gained independence these women were ignored by a society where rape is seen as a source of shame for the victim. They were silenced, ostracised and forgotten – we want to help break this silence. The piece uses physical performance, choreography and animation interwoven with films of the real Birangona women’s accounts to tell their stories.