In the Pakistani children’s series Burka Avenger, a symbol of women’s subjugation becomes a super-heroine’s mask. At the center of the action is a teacher, Jiya, who dons a magical cape at night to right the wrongs around her, from the ban on girls going to school, to child labor abuses, to environmental degradation. Taught by a spiritual master to rely on her own wits and to fight with a pen not a sword, Jiya is part Catwoman, part Muslim ideal. Never heavy-handed or forced, the storytelling unfolds with effortless charm as each episode amusingly turns stereotypes on their heads. The take-charge actions of Jiya and the children she defends are animated with imaginative verve, the comeuppance of the villains in each segment is celebratory, and the messages embedded are clear and aspirational. For its deft handling of a deadly serious theme –- the empowerment of women -– in a part of the world where it has particular and timely resonance, Burka Avenger receives a Peabody Award.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Executive Producer: Aaron Haroon Rashid. Producer: Aaron Haroon Rashid. Director: Aaron Haroon Rashid. Writers: Aaron Haroon Rashid, Adi Abdurab, Arslan Naseer & Ghaniah Ejaz. Production Head: Uzair Z. Khan. Art Director: Ejaz Ahmed. Animation Head: Taha Iqbal. Post Production Head: Rizwan Ahmed. 2d Art Lead: Muffadal Iqbal. Sound Design/Score: Jonathan Nawaz, Ahmed Ali & Aaron Haroon Rashid. Voice Over Artist Talent: Ainy Jaffri, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Amjad Chaudhary, Anum Zaidi & Sara Rubab.