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Burka Avenger

"Burka Avenger is a new Pakistani kids' show about a mild-mannered teacher who moonlights as a burka-clad superhero."


Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

In reference to globalization, the origins of mythology and ideas of "super-heros" go back thousands of years to ancient mythology.  Often, these ancient gods or heros had something in common with their audiences, to identify with, as well as an exceptional skill that surpassed that of any human capability.  This Burka Avenger trailer shows that the Avenger fights evil in a superior way- by using books.  The commonality with Muslim audiences is depicted as wearing similar religious clothing, but also realizing that having that ability to battle with books is something both the superhero has, AND the general population.  This allows for identifying between the population and the hero in a way that shows they can be heros too.  Superman did something similar by "doing the right thing," and Batman too, by standing up to injustice at whatever level his opportunities permitted.  Showing a down-to-earth hero with powers and commonalities with the Muslim audience is a way of the artists of their society saying that these kids can be heroes too.  It plays down the extremes of actual violence, and replaces that with intellectual solutions and peaceful defending of the right thing to do. The blend of conventional heroic traits and the Pakistani culture is what makes this cartoon a statement for social change, and also what might keep them away from harmful activities by them being exposed to it at a young age.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 19, 2014 12:45 PM

There is something to be said about how film and the media can be used as an effective tool to touch on broad cultural ideals. On a related note, I will be attending a conference soon in Boston on social studies education and one of the seminars I will be going to is how to use SciFi movies in the classroom. Ideals like equality, fighting oppression and free speech are timeless and span many cultures, in Pakistan, the Burka Avenger is that area's media outlet to discuss key social topics to young people.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, April 6, 4:25 PM

A modern day Batman/Superman, Burka Avenger, with great graphics and an in-depth plot. The television shows the Pakistanis children watch are the same type of shows that I watched growing up, and the shows that the modern day children of today’s youth are watching. The cross-cultural relationship seems so different, but at the roots it is the same. The kids in this show have friends, pets, enemies, a hero, a conflict; everything that an American television show would feature.  Whether the kids are facing a bully, a school closure from a villain, or a life peril from another villain, there undercover school teacher is there ready and willing to save the day. Everybody needs a hero to look up to, so this show is great for the Pakistani youth. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 6, 10:06 AM

I think this is wonderful.  It also reemphasizes the reality that all children are born without preconceived notions of what is right, what is wrong, what is good, or what is evil.  An American child might look at this and automatically think that the lady in the Burka is a "villain", due to American media and propaganda.  I can't help but think of the backlash that would surround this cartoon if they ever tried to put it on American airwaves.  

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This Is What It's Like to Be a Muslim in Boston Right Now

This Is What It's Like to Be a Muslim in Boston Right Now | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it
When Anum Hussain heard about the Boston Marathon bombing, she immediately panicked, worried that the culprits would be like her. The 22-year-old Muslim was in the offices of Hubspot, the Cambridge marketing-software company she works for.

Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

A Muslim friend of mine went through hell in high school, and was often called a terrorist.  People used to knock his books over in the hallways and took his religious cap from him.  They would talk behind his back, mock his holy garb, and blame him for events such as the bombing of the twin towers on 9/11/01, which was ridiculous because he was not even a teenager at the time that event happened.  He shall remain nameless for purposes of respect and privacy, but this allusion is in order to establish my opinion that if people had gotten to know more Muslims at a younger age, as I have in this case, they would not associate Muslims with terrorism in their first impressions with these people.  My friend is a kind, musically inclined, and peaceful artist, and I am open to believing that these qualities reflect more accurately what Muslims are about, at least to me, than the negative connotations of dangerous radicals within that religious sect.  It seems the media's portrayal of the truth is more important than the truth itself to many people, for it is weighted with shining gold credibility spoken through shiny white teeth on an HDTV screen in high resolution... not from upset protests by bearded, turban-clad Muslims, however innocent they may actually be. The Muslims that have wonderful qualities have been overshadowed not by the dangerous radicals, but by the extreme portrayals and labelings from the media.

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Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 20, 2013 3:33 PM

Being from around the area and listening and watching the tv during the boston bombings all I really thought about was how the city and families were effected by the tragic event. However I never really thought about how it impacted muslim people in the area. For people to put a blame on all muslim people is not right. We are not all the same, which means not all muslims are the same. Some muslims have lived their whole lives in the US and for people to catogorize them all as terrorists isn't right. All people should be treated them same way. It is sad to read the article and think that some muslims in Boston walk around in fear of being beat up or killed just because of their culture. The bombings effected an entire city and muslim people people should be able to mourn with the rest of the city. They grew up there just like we did. So what makes them so different from me and you? Not all muslims are killers like the two boys from the bombings. It is really sad to me that they have to live their lives in fear everyday in a place that they call home, just because of their culture. No one deserves to live like that. I can't even imagine how difficult it is for muslim people in Boston. 

Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 10:38 AM

Terrorism is a huge problem in our Country today. I'm not trying to racist saying this but I feel like they do it to themselves. Coming into our country and terrorizing our nation thats okay? Yes not every Muslim is a terrorist im not saying that but you never know if they are or not. Since 911 we cant trust anyone, and theres a reason for that. I understand that they should not have to feel any different then the average American but the past is what we all dwell on.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 10:19 AM

Some are saying that racism doesnt exist anymore but it does. Muslims still live in fear that they are being judged everyday because some Americans generalize Muslims with terrorism