British-Pakistani Diaspora and the Crises of Identity: Depictions from Azma Dar’s Play Chaos

Muslim (s), Pakistani (s), Britain, Diaspora, Colonial, Asian, Home (land), Identity


October 30, 2020


This paper studies Azma Dar’s play Chaos (2005) that is written in the wake of 9/11 attacks; an era that witnessed visible increasing numbers of Islamophobic attitudes in Britain. The playwright is of Pakistani origins and has experienced diaspora with its problematic sense of self-identification and belonging to a certain geographical territory that is called homeland. The play highlights political, social and cultural issues confronting diasporic Muslim Pakistanis, particularly of the new generation born in Britain. This is a postcolonial study of the play (Chaos). The paper highlights the “ambivalence” discourse of political parties and media that labels Pakistanis with various forms of “otherness” such as “Pakis”, “Asians” and most recently and radically “terrorists”. Similar to the classic discourse of colonialism, the aims are achieved through the medium of stereotyping and generalization. It is necessary to mention that the last mentioned label (terrorists) marks a shift in the strategy of the construction of “otherness” compared to the political context of pre-9/11 attacks.