Wednesday May 18, 2022

Aurat March releases Urdu version of Chilean protest song

Shared earlier this week, 'Un Violador en Tu Camino' — or 'A Rapist in Your Path' in English — the video shot to a whopping 67,000 views just on Twitter

By Web Desk
February 03, 2020
Aurat March participants perform the Urdu version of the protest song. Screengrab from YouTube

The Aurat March released the Urdu version of a Chilean protest song a few days ago that takes aim at the patriarchal system and highlights atrocities committed against women around the world.

Shared earlier this week, 'Un Violador en Tu Camino' — or 'A Rapist in Your Path' in English — the video shot to a whopping 67,000 views just on Twitter.

Created by Valparaiso feminist collective, Las Tesis, 'A Rapist in Your Path' is based on Argentinian anthropologist Rita Laura Segato's work. However, Aurat March has made some revisions to the feminist protest song by including feudal lords as part of the patriarchal system.

The anthem primarily focuses on rape culture and victim-blaming and how patriarchy has made women's existence "a crime". It also demands that the misogynistic narrative be shifted from the survivor to perpetrator and away from how honour is considered to be women's responsibility in the culture.

"Our punishment is the violence you don't see / It's femicide

"Impunity for our killers / Hear you, it's rape!

"Not 'female honour' / And it's not my fault

"Not where I was, nor what I wore / Not my class, nor religion, nor my labour!"

The women who performed it in Karachi had draped cloth over their faces in exactly the same manner as the Chilean protesters had done so to bring attention to the message and not the individuals; to ensure their security was maintained by keeping their identity hidden.

"Oppression is unacceptable / We are ready to fight

"Power dynamics will overturn / Women will be free!"

While the performance received a lot of praise with people describing it as "powerful" and saying it gave them "goosebumps" and "chills", it has also caught flak from some.

Ahead of their 2020 rally, the organisers have asked women and allies to join them in performing the anti-rape anthem on March 8, 2020. "We are not victims. We are not helpless. United, our power is enough," they wrote.

What is the Chilean protest performance about?

Back in December 2019, over a thousand women took to the streets of Chile's capital Santiago, performing the feminist anthem "A Rapist In Your Way" as a rallying cry sung in cities across the globe.

The song slams violence against women and is accompanied by dance moves, while those who participate often wear a black blindfold and a handkerchief tied around the neck.

"I am not the guilty one, not because of where I'm from or how I'm dressed," goes part of the chant. "The rapist is you!" the women shout, flinging their arms forward to point in front of them.

"There's a lot of pain in these testimonies, there's a lot of wounds," one of the founders of Las Tesis, Sibila Sotomayor, told AFP. "In some way, that's what gives us this energy but it hurts us too."