Sofia Ashraf catapulted to online fame with her powerful video about environmental violations of Hindustan Unilever in Kodaikanal, in a video Kodaikanal Won’t. From then on she has created multiple videos, taking on social issues with wit and eloquence.
Her latest video on Culture Machine’s digital channel Blush is about societal pressure on women to get pregnant and start a family. The euphemism, Any Good News, has become the title of her video. In the video a mother keeps asking her daughter (both played by Ashraf) for good news implying if she is pregnant.
“It started with a conversation with my grandmother at home. My brother told her that he has been promoted at work and I told her that I have been promoted too. But she told me that for a woman a true promotion is when she has a child and starts a family. It was hilarious then and we all laughed but the thought stuck,” she says.
Ashraf says that the video is not against motherhood but the primacy it takes over everything else a woman does in life. So in the video she goes on to elaborate how a good morning mood and spectacular achievements all hilariously fall flat before the repeated queries of good news.
A fan of humour, Ashraf is happy to have dug one more nail in the coffin of the dogma that women can’t be funny, but she says that it does not mean that the anger that leads to the voicing of these protests is any less important.
“I am happy that my videos have been able to convey these issues to some people and that a funny woman telling them the story has worked. But that does not mean that there is no anger behind it or that women should not be angry when telling their stories,” she explains. And, on her mind right now is to figure out ways to bombard people with information and perspective on issues. “I am a feminist and as things are, there is a long way to go,” she concludes.