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Thumbprint

Thumbprint is inspired by the extraordinary transformation of Mukhtar Mai, a young woman whose world was shattered by an act of brutality that could have destroyed her.

Thumbprint is inspired by the extraordinary transformation of Mukhtar Mai, a young woman whose world was shattered by an act of brutality that could have destroyed her. Instead, she discovers a weapon—her voice—and against all odds, to the astonishment of her country and herself, she seeks justice and finds it. “The worst thing in my life is also the best,” she says. “It has given my life meaning.”

Her journey resonates beyond borders in its implicit belief that even in the darkest times, one person, one voice, through a single act of courage, can change life for thousands.


The story is told through a dynamic score by Kamala Sankaram, filled with Hindustani and European opera influences, and a libretto by Susan Yankowitz, originating from a series of interviews with Mai.

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