Tomorrow We Inherit The Earth: The Alif Series

Alif Para La Revolución, performance Asian Art Museum, Photo by KaliMa
Alif Para La Revolución as performed in the Asian Art Museum for APAture 2017, photo credit KaliMa Amilak

The Alif Series – an extension of Tomorrow We Inherit the Earth – explores histories of violence, resistance and guerrilla warfare in the larger Muslim world through a mix of live performance, as well as video.  These histories are filtered them through a queer future historical re-telling and the past becomes the future.  Ghosts and creatures evolved to fight in this rebellion intertwine with Faluda Islam, one of the revolution’s first martyrs, a drag queen turned fighter in a global queer and trans uprising against Western Imperialism.

Faluda Islam is resurrected through wifi technology, she is a zombie and she constantly oscillates between life and death as the story unfolds. Her life in itself is a retelling of the death of my father Mir Murtaza Bhutto who was killed by police outside our home in 1996.

The name, The Alif Series, come from the first letter of the word inqilab, meaning revolution in Arabic, Urdu and Farsi. Alif also holds great meaning in Arabic, it is the first letter of the alphabet and the first letter of the word Allah. It is often used as a poetic symbol of unity and new beginnings.


Borders of all kinds are destroyed and hybrid languages, cultures and identities begin to form as Faluda begins to collaborate with other specters from this eerie and unknown world .  The performances plays out in a series of iterations or chapters, even episodes going back and forth in time and geography and building on the narratives that came before.

Alif Para La Revolución

The title of the project takes on the word Revolution and translates it into Arabic and Spanish, languages used by two of the most targeted Immigrant communities in the U.S.  Similar to standard alphabet books A is for apple and so on, instead of R is for Revolution, languages are mixed together in this new world and separated identities begin to intersect. In this reality: Alif is for the Revolution.

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The Alif Series: They told us to wear Masqs 

jose e abad resurrecting Faluda Islam, photo by Dierdre Visser. Venue: SafeHouse For the Arts.
Faluda Islam’s Resurrection, photo by Dierdre Visser. Venue: SafeHouse for the Arts
Photo by Dierdre Visser. Venue: SafeHouse for the Arts

They Told us to Wear Masqs is a collaboration between Faluda Islam (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) and jose e abad.  Faluda Islam has died and is in need of resurrection, as well as healing from her traumatic death.  jose e abad, a creature from another world is summoned to exhume her body, still enclosed in its kaffan, or death shroud and bring her back to life.

The success of the revolution caused a major planetary shift and apocalypse but nothing the fighters can’t handle, they have been through many apocalypse in the form of drone warfare, an unending war on terror and repetitive disastrous interventions by Western armies.

The world they are now living in is toxic beyond belief and masks are necessary for the survival of most living creatures.  The two interact in a bond of solidarity beyond the binaries of race, culture and religion, it is crucial for their continued survival.