This all-women team just released its first music video and we're here for it

This all-women team just released its first music video and we're here for it

'Men have an issue with women telling them what to do. It's frustrating and makes it very difficult to do our jobs.'
Updated 25 Feb, 2021

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could just wake up and walk fearlessly on the streets? If women could be vendors, and all your errands could be run with comfortable ease?

For Zahra Paracha — an up and coming Indie music artist in Pakistan, whose sweet melodious vocals and relatable lyrics are uplifting and refreshing — the music video for her song Bekhudi is a representation of just that utopian dream.

It's music for a generation that has wondered what it would be like for women to enjoy existing in the same public spaces largely occupied by men.

The song works like a trajectory of her thoughts, as does the music video, which lives up to a similar flow, and is the masterpiece of an all-women team.

"The idea of an all female/non-binary crew came about because of our experiences working in male-dominated fields," video director Mahnoor Mahar tells Images, as she recalls their collective ordeals.

"Zahra is a music producer and there aren't many female producers in Pakistan, so that is something she struggles with. There have been times when I'm the only woman on set and I wish it was different," she says. "There are no women in the camera teams either. So I wanted to create a film/production company where we could deliberately choose to work with women and non-binary people."

The video is fairly simple in its execution — at first glance, it follows the journey of a little girl walking on the streets fearlessly. Look closely and you find yourself in a utopian dream, with women vendors, and a no-money, conflict-free barter system.

The idea also stems from the writer and producer for the music video Sadia Khatri's own politics. She's also one of the founders of the feminist collective 'Girls At Dhabas'.

"It's something we all agreed with and supported," Mahar tells me. "Women occupying public spaces has been such a large part of her resistance. We asked our friends who we think are brilliant women to play those parts, and the rest just fell into place and turned into a caring and nurturing space to create."

It is often assumed that women working together breeds toxic politics and disputes, but the brains behind Bekhudi don't agree.

"This was easily the most hassle-free easy production. There was literally no conflict, we worked together like a well oiled machine. I didn't even know this was possible," she adds.

"Men don't listen. That's the limitation. They have an issue with women telling them what to do. It's frustrating and makes it very difficult to do our jobs," she adds, talking about how working with women on the other hand, was a completely different and wholesome experience.

Paracha seemed to agree, adding how being a woman in a technical field is exceptionally difficult in Pakistan. "You have to be twice as good to prove that you're just as good as your male colleagues in the same field," she says.

"I was fortunate enough to have people guiding me through the process but a lot of women don't have that and because of that they are discouraged from entering the field or just staying in it," she explains, saying that if she didn't love what she did so much, she would have quit a long time ago.

"This is going to sound dramatic but Bell Hooks writes about approaching everything with a love ethic, and I feel like this [music video] has really been created that way," Mahar says, talking about the project and how the experience turned out to be.

She also confessed how the team wants to work on projects that are not just feminist on screen, but also feminist through the entire process and its politics as well. "We feel this was the most important. To notice how people working were feeling and how they were being treated."

The inspiration for the video stemmed from Dhani by Strings, which was directed by Jami in 2003 and incorporated the essence of women occupying the streets.

The cinematography for Bekhudi by Mariam Iqbal Desai, alongside Rania Ahmed as the production assistant and colourist Sourath Behan has given the film a soft dreamy feel. You go girls!


Javaria N Feb 25, 2021 05:07pm
I LOVE THIS SONG AND THE MUSIC VIDEO!!!!!!!! Keep it up girls!!!!!
NYS Feb 25, 2021 05:25pm
Feminism innocent joy !!
Enlightened One Feb 25, 2021 07:56pm
I wish every male in South Asia had to experience living as a female for 1 day of the week - the males would soon realize how much they make it difficult for a female to just live her life. The video was so peaceful, with no one harassing a female for just being a female! Feel ashamed of being a male where other males make it so difficult for a female to live her life. Wish there was a switch inside every male that would turn off the hormones that get activated when a male sees a female. Everyone would live peacefully, without males harassing females, each minding their own business! What a peaceful world that would be!
Chris Roberts Feb 25, 2021 08:09pm
Khaled Feb 25, 2021 08:12pm
That's great.
RationalBabu Feb 25, 2021 08:25pm
In 21st century, Pakistani women still can’t occupy the same public space as men? What on earth is wrong with you guys?
Javed Feb 25, 2021 09:33pm
Weak production
Chrís Dăn Feb 25, 2021 09:45pm
Very very nice. Lovely.
sidC Feb 26, 2021 12:02am
Love it, great job.
Sara Feb 26, 2021 01:07am
Nothing will change. It will just get worst for women. But good luck in trying to change the mind set.
Sara Feb 26, 2021 01:10am
I left that place over fifty years ago and so have 90 percent of my community people. We are much happier living in a western civilization.
Sara Feb 26, 2021 01:16am
Let me know when Pakistan will be safe for females to walk freely without being harassed on the street.
Sara Feb 26, 2021 01:22am
Good luck on this dream for a perfect Pakistan for females.
Truth Feb 26, 2021 02:25am
@Enlightened One its the same issue all across the world (including west). Until a certain system of law is not implemented this issue will remain as it is.
AHS Feb 26, 2021 06:43am
Very refreshing!! very well done!!