Fear of a Brown Planet –
Finding the funny in difference
By Shafeen Mustaq
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Nazeem Hussain and Aamer Rahman are two talented and worldly individuals who have found their niche in the world of comedy as a way of expressing their opinions. Whether you agree with them or not, you are guaranteed a laugh. The two are in the middle of their second national tour, Fear of a Brown Planet (FOABP) Returns and I spoke with Bangladeshi Australian, Aamer Rahman, about the touring experience and how audiences are responding to the new show.
The show features Mohammed El-Leissy (Vic State Finalist, Raw Comedy 2007), Nazeem Hussain (Vic State Finalist, Raw Comedy 2007) and Aamer Rahman (Vic State Winner, National Runner-Up Raw Comedy 2007). With a hoard of awards to their name, the Nazeem/Aamer duo is supremely confident about their shows. Aamer tells me that the responses to the shows have been very good and the audience even better. He acknowledges that they have some strong views but asserts that they have had no complaints. “Even if people don’t agree with us they see the humour and laugh...No matter how racist or closed-minded a person is, if you can joke about something Australians really respect it," he said.
The shows premise is “Tackling the topics of immigration, race relations, and the War on Terror head on, Fear of a Brown Planet Returns promises to shock and awe audiences with their anarchic take on politics and race at home and abroad. As always, it's uncompromising, ruthless and cheeky - guaranteed to be more fun than a night in Guantanamo.” Aamer says that there is no specific motivation for their content. “We just talk about what we known and comedy is our way of expressing our views and getting it across to a range of people.”
Aamer speaks passionately about comedy and insists that this is his chosen career. “I did Law and I was miserable”, he said. “I don’t want to be miserable. I enjoy comedy and it’s an excellent way of getting my opinion across.” When asked about the political nature of the shows content Aamer refers to comedians he grew up with. “They never distinguished between Comedy and Politics and neither do Nazeem and I.” While Aamer is modest about his achievements, citing himself as a cross between a comedian and a science fiction buff, his achievements and accolades establish his efforts to catalyse change in modern society. Aamer does hip hop inspired screen and t-shirt printing while also maintaining and active role in the community and touring for FOABP. The two have also been funded by VicHealth to work on a three-year project exploring racism in Melbourne. With such exciting and enthusiastic projects under their belt, Aamer and Nazeem spend much of their time in each other’s company. On their friendship and dynamics Aamer says that while they fight most of the time, he and Nazeem and close friends whose comic styles complement each other and he can see them performing together for a long time to come. Aamer’s next big step is to perform at the comedy club in Dhaka at the end of this year. It will be his first time performing in Bangladesh and he is very excited to be addressing new topics to a new audience in a mixture of Bangla and English.
Nazeem and Aamer’s FOABP is currently part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and they will be performing in the Sydney Comedy Festival at the Factory theatre from 27th April to 1 May 2010. Whether or not you agree with their views, this show will be a must see for the laughs and the insights into the evolving identity of Muslims in Australia, what they think and most importantntly, how they find the funny in difference. For more information and to book tickets to their show, please log onto http://www.brownplanet.com.au