Project Batu Lesung

Project Batu Lesung is brought to you from Sisters In Islam as part of GTF’s Week on Women. This 2-day project focus on issues taken up by Sisters in Islam’s advocacy, i.e. the concept of marriage as a partnership of equals and addressing the issue of gender equality.

Irrespective of race, religion or creed, a typical Malaysian family would have “batu lesung” (or pestle and mortar) in their kitchen, making this the one kitchen tool which binds us. As the batu lesung knocks stones together, pounding and turning the mix of seeds, grains and spices into a single delicious paste, characters and traits also starts to meld together, seasoned by hard knocks. The blend then turns into a single family unit.

Project Batu Lesung consists of:

Diary for Prasana (film screening): 11 August, 3:00pm, Scoopoint

Does Islam deny a mother’s right to be with her child? Where does justice lie in this man-made world? – These are just some of the questions that Norhayati Kaprawi’s documentary, ‘Diari Untuk Prasana,’ attempts to uncover. Presented as a diary, the documentary presents to the audience a glimpse into the life of Indira Gandhi, a Hindu woman. Upon her divorce, her ex-husband took their daughter, Prasana, away from Indira and converted her to Islam. Indira has been separated from her daughter for the past eight years. The documentary highlights the impact of unilateral conversion onto family members, individuals and society at large; and leads up to a ferocious battle against the country’s dual legal system.

The screening is followed by a discussion between the director Norhayati Kaprawi, Indira Gandhi and vice president of Women Central for Change (WCC) in Penang, Lalitha Menon.

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Broken (play), 12 August, 8:30pm, Whiteaways Arcade

A 90-minute play depicting the roles of women in marriage and the concept of an ideal marriage. Broken dives deep into the ebbs and flows of family institutions and marriage by exploring the issues of divorce, custody and alimony. This play also shows the exploits of domestic violence which occur in both Muslims and non-Muslims communities and the strain faced by families.

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