Aamer Rahman was in town headlining QPIRG’s event The Truth Hurts as part of Concordia University’s DisOrientation. The event was free, with donations going to support Reclaim Turtle Island, Solidarity Across Borders and Islamic Relief for Palestinian Orphans.
Kama La Mackerel, “a drag artist who gender fucks” opened the show with a song, dance and story. If you haven’t seen a performance by La Mackerel, I highly recommend it. Second up was The Narcycist, Arab musician, actor, multimedia artist and prof who rapped about ethnicity, racism and society.
The crowd of over 600 people was properly primed by the time that Rahman took the stage. In a story about returning to Waterloo University, 40 years after his Bangladeshi father graduated with a PhD, Rahman referred to himself as a “travelling clown”.
Well, he is a travelling clown with a message. His routine is rooted in the injustices of racism. He talks about his experience as a Muslim growing up in Australia, which he describes as “a sunny Nazi beach resort”, as well as the hatred occurring daily around the world.
Rahman targets the government, the police, ISIS, internet trolls, white people, the military, Iggy Izalea, the KKK, straight guys and Game of Thrones. Rahmer takes the audience on a tour of what is going on in the world, and it isn’t the FOX edition.
The subject is heavy, and it’s supposed to be. The amazing thing is that Aamer Rahman manages to keep the crowd laughing while never making light of the subject he is discussing. He may bounce back to a Walking Dead reference, talking about how it makes sense there are no South Asians on the show, claiming that their hoarder’s habits and necessity for a 17 course packed lunch would significantly slow down their getaway process.
He may even claim that white people thrive on the show because of their unique ability to actually enjoy road kill and canned foods. But these lighter references are smack dab in the middle of commentary about the U.S. and Australian presence in Afghanistan, the killing of innocent civilians in the Middle East and the plight of Muslims around the world.
The whole evening was quite inspirational, here are three people doing what they love, while creating change in the world. Or at the very least, informing over 600 people about the issues that they find important and problematic.
It was smart, critical and thought provoking, well done folks. And well done to QPIRG for organizing such a wonderful event, be sure to check their working groups if you are looking to get involved in a grassroots organization making real change here in Montreal.
THE TRUTH HURTS show with Aamer Rahman happened on September 24 at Concordia University (1455 de Maisonneuve West, H-110 Auditorium) at 7 p.m. You can learn more about it HERE