Author(s): Alana Valentine
A story of two Australian Afghan Muslim women and the tension within a family over the wearing of the headscarf. A young Australian-born Muslim woman turns to the religion of her heritage for answers after the September 11 attacks in 2001, resulting in a deep experience of faith and a controversial decision to wear the hijab. Partly a plea for understanding, partly a bellow of rage from Muslim Australian women about the ignorance and misunderstanding that surrounds the wearing of the traditional Muslim headscarf, Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah is based on personal interviews with Muslim women from a diversity of Muslim cultures. The play addresses theatrical and social questions about representation, religious freedom and inter-generational conflict.
Alana Valentine's writing has been awarded the 2004 Queensland Premier's Award for best Drama Script, 2003 NSW Writer's Fellowship, the 2002 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights' Award and an International Writing Fellowship at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. She has also received a 2001 commendation for the Louis Esson Prize, a 1999 AWGIE Award, a residency at the Banff Playwrights' Conference in Canada, the ANPC/New Dramatists Award in NYC, a Churchill Fellowship for England and Ireland and a NSW Premier's Award.