CounterCurrent Festival presents Molla Nasreddin: Embrace your Antithesis
CounterCurrent Festival presents Molla Nasreddin: Embrace your Antithesis, a lecture-performance using a satirical Azerbaijani weekly periodical as a springboard for discussion about self-censorship in history and contemporary life. Published until 1931, in the geo-political and religious hotbed of the Caucuses, Molla Nasreddin was named after a legendary Sufi wise man-cum-fool of the Middle Ages.
With an acerbic sense of humor and full of compelling, realist illustrations, Molla Nasreddin attacked the hypocrisy of the Muslim clergy, the colonial policies of the United States and European nations, and the corruption of the local elite. Meanwhile it argued for Westernization, educational reform and equal rights for women. The magazine - full of jokes, parody and a steady skewering of traditional and elitist hypocrisy - became the most influential and perhaps first publication of its kind to be read across the Muslim world, from Morocco to India.