The PPC is proud to support this lecture hosted by the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC).
Journalist Sanam Maher spent several years investigating the murder of Pakistan’s first social media celebrity, Qandeel Baloch. Questions arising from Maher’s investigation—What kind of woman is the country’s culture willing to tolerate? And how did Qandeel encourage a generation of Pakistani women to inhabit the same online spaces she was viciously trolled in—broaden into larger questions of how sex is being talked about, and, as importantly, how it isn’t. To censor those discussions is to refuse to have a conversation about one’s own culture and society. If instead we invited those conversations, what is the worst that could happen?
Sanam Maher covers stories on Pakistan’s art and culture, business, politics, religious minorities, and women. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Caravan, Roads & Kingdoms, and The Times Literary Supplement, amongst others. Her first book, A Woman Like Her: The Short Life of Qandeel Baloch, appeared in 2018. She participates in the International Writing Program’s Fall Residency courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
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