Pakistan’s award-winning 'Burka Avenger' animation opens on London screen
Screened at the Royal Festival Hall until the end of May, the multi-award-winning TV series generated controversy in the West when it premiered in 2013.
While its lead character, a school teacher named Jiya who becomes a black burqa-clad avenger, has been listed among the most influential fictional characters of 2013, other critics have been less enthusiastic about the animated female's alter identity.
Burka Avenger: Doesn't wear a burka except when disguising her identity.— Basima Faysal (@BasimaFaysal) May 18, 2016
With some having argued that the cartoon glorified the traditional Muslim attire for women, the show's creator, Pakistani social activist Aaron Haroon Rashid said: "[I]t's not about how [the character] looks or what she's wearing, it's about what she is doing."
Unlike "sexualized" Western characters, "like Catwoman and Wonder Woman," the Burka Avenger is fighting evil and promotes education for all "with books and pens as her weapons," the creators have claimed.
Being Pakistan's first ever animated TV series, its burqa wearing female role model for children has taken by storm not only its country of origin, but also neighboring Afghanistan. More than 85 percent of children living in urban areas watch the show there, according to the Telegraph.