Afreena Islam

Afreena calls herself an artist only when she’s got something to say. The rest of the time she produces stuff, researches stuff, performs in stuff, sits on boards and eats posh sandwiches.

Her first solo work has been developed through Divergency and Works Ahead…

Daughters of the Curry Revolution

“When I was little, I used to hang out at my dad’s restaurant most weekends, back when they used to stay open until 5am. After a hard day’s toil running around pretending to be him, I would fall asleep to the CCTV, my body on the chest freezer and my head resting on a pile of tablecloths.”

In Daughters…, Afreena attempts to navigate her dad’s journey to help her figure out her own…

“My dad is an illiterate Muslim immigrant called Michael. He left home when he was 8, and came to England when he was 22. He worked for about 65 years, retired, and then had a brain haemorrhage. He’s 84 now.

“I am a first generation Mancunian Bangladeshi called Afreena. I tried to leave home a few times, but the smell of my mum’s curry always led me back. I’m the last child (as far as I know!) born to my dad. I’m 25 now.”

In an intimate performance, Afreena invites you to take a seat around her dinner table as she serves up stories from her father’s past, present, and what little she imagines is left of his future. Exploring what it means to be her dad’s daughter in the context of the anti-immigration rhetoric she is surrounded by, Afreena follows her dad’s journey to this country, and his journey to this day.

“I’ve never told my dad that I love him and it would be contrived if I ever did. We’re not a very lovey-dovey family. But I guess this performance is something of a love letter, maybe?”

Peader Kirk — Works Ahead Mentor
A Works Ahead 2016 hÅb + Contact commission.
Developed as a Divergency micro-commission with support from hÅb + STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North).

…such an engaging performer / host, and a striking story to tell.
Brian Logan, Director, Camden People’s Theatre
I was deeply moved by Daughters of the Curry Revolution, an important work that takes courage to make and share.
Ria Hartley, Artist

Websites | @afreenaazaria