An acting stalwart known for her powerhouse performances and social activism, Shabana Azmi is the winner of five National awards and regarded as one of the finest female actors in India. She made her debut in 1974 with Shyam Benegal’s film Ankur and went on to give path breaking performances in films such as Arth, Mandi, Khandhar, Paar, Godmother and Fire among others. In 1988, the Government of India awarded her with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of the country.
Azmi firmly believes that art is an instrument of social change and has been working as a social and women’s rights activist for many years. Shabana Azmi was in London for the performance of her play Broken Images – a psychological thriller about identity and the politics of language where she portrays dual role of the protagonist and her sister – she spoke to Shreshtha Trivedi from Indian Ladies UK about the difference between films and theatre, the dangers of rising populism across the world and when she played the role of a cow in a performance.