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Zameen: Where Globalisation, tradition and nature collide

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    Written by Satinder Kaur Chohan   
    Directed by Janet Steel

    In the cotton fields of the Punjab a small farmer waits anxiously for the harvest, pinning his hopes for prosperity on GM seeds and Western pesticides to ensure an abundant crop. When disaster occurs and the crops begin to fail, he falls deeper into debt to the local money-lender. Full of frustrated ambition his son turns to drink and dreams of escape while his dutiful daughter finds herself torn between staying in poverty on the land she loves or following the man she adores to a better life in the West….

    Zameen (Land) is a beautifully written and moving drama that explores the devastating effects that global agribusiness can have on real human lives. It was developed through Kali Futures, a new writing development programme and showcased at the Asian Women Talkback Festival at Soho Theatre in November 2006.

    Zameen sheds light on a topical issue in India and many developing countries where agriculture has become big business. In India this was triggered by reforms initiated by the World Bank over a decade ago which shifted the land to commercial agriculture with monoculture crops and allowed companies to provide GM seeds. The spiraling costs of GM seeds, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, machinery and diesel forced many farmers to take out heavy loans at high rates of interest. Their inability to pay due to low income, repeated crop failures, water shortages, low market prices and lack of government support have lead to over 25,000 farmers to take their own lives.

    Writer, Satinder Kaur Chohan is of Punjabi origin and has worked as a researcher for television documentaries. This is her first dramatic work.

    Kali Theatre Company is one of UK’s leading South Asian Theatre companies. Established in the 1990s, the company has a reputation for creating theatre that inspires, excites and intrigues from work by South Asian women. Previous credits include: Calcutta Kosher (2004), Chaos & Bells (2005), A Thin Red Line (2007) and Giving Voice, a festival of readings of new work (2007).

    Cast: Amarjit Bassan, Ravin Ganatra, Goldy Notay, Bhasker Patel, Gurpreet Singh.

    - Article by Amandeep Madra

    7 – 17 May; Tue–Sat 7pm
    Matinees: Thurs & Sat at 3pm
    The Arts Theatre
    Grt. Newport St, London  
    0870 847 1608
    Tickets Tue– Thur eve £18, Fri & Sat eve £20 (Conc: Tue–Sat eve £15, Sat Matinee £18, Thurs Mat £15)

    Further information on Zameen and Kali Theatre from
    23-26 April 8pm  
    Manchester Contact Theatre 
    0161 274 0600
    29 April – 3 May 7.45pm
    Plymouth Theatre Royal, The Drum 
    01752 267222
     7–17 May Tues – Sat 7pm
    Sat & Thur matinees 3pm 
    The Arts Theatre, London
    0870 847 1608
    21-24 May 7.45pm
    24 May 2.45pm
    Birmingham Rep, The Door 
    0121 236 4455

    2 & 3 June 7.30pm
    Southampton Nuffield Theatre 
    023 8067 1771

    5-7 June 7.45pm
    Sat Matinee 2.30pm  
    Leeds West Yorkshire Playhouse
    0113 213 7700            

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