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Christopher Richardson's Comments

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'The Women's Voices Now' Film Festival: Women's Voices From the Muslim World

'The Women's Voices Now' Film Festival: Women's Voices From the Muslim World

Commented Oct 9, 2010 at 09:47:30 in Impact

“Thank you Dr. Ahmed! Even the definition of a "Muslim woman" by the West is so ill defined, narrow, and downright simplistic, I can see short films such as these becoming tools to enlighten people that not all Muslim women live on the "Arab"/Pakistani street. Rather, as WVN can potentially show, there are women of the Muslim faith toiling in "invisibility" from Dakar to Banjul to as far away as Jakarta. Its ironic that these women are even more hidden/invisible because they aren't even thought of (as vague and amorphous as the definition is) as "Muslim women!" This is despite their outsized roles as providers and the burdens they must bear. Even in non-majority nations with a substantial Muslim population, I'm sure many in the West would be puzzled by the thoughts of Chinese Muslims in Xian. What the average Western would define as a Muslim woman living in a Muslim majority country has been defined as you said by many groups but this is their chance to define and show themselves to the world. Thanks again!”

Catinca Tabacaru on Oct 11, 2010 at 09:45:49

“Dear Christopher, you are entirely correct. Our traditional media and news sources make it easy to overlook these "other Muslim women." When this project first started, our "Muslim world" was not yet defined. We were thinking of focusing on the Arab world, or the Middle East, or Muslim women... but after months of research and conversations with scholars, leaders of NGOs, friends and Muslim women on four different continents, our "Muslim world" emerged as: women of all faiths living in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim women living as minorities around the world. We realized that often the most "invisible" or "silenced" people are those we don't know about - the non-Muslims in Muslim-majority nations, and Christopher, as you point out, the Muslim women living as minorities in their own countries while still in Muslim communities. WVN wanted to make sure that these voices were not ignored.”

Qanta Ahmed on Oct 9, 2010 at 10:40:42

“You have made a critical observation Christopher. Exactly what I seek in every interaction in any medium is to dismantle the monolithic construct of "Islam" or "Muslim'. This simplistic portrayal which has really become dangerously seductive to an increasingly hostile, heavily mediated portrayal of both Islam and its followers. The founders of WVN seek to dismantle this simplicity using the voices and eyes and spirits of the subject matter themselves. Through this transparency we will see stories of joy and hardship, pain and passion, even perhaps some difficult difficult documentation of the abuses and disabuses my fellow Muslim women must deal with daily. Wanting to share even these difficult materials does not add to Islamaphobia as detractors may wish to posit but rather begins to dismantle it through dialogue.”
'The Women's Voices Now' Film Festival: Women's Voices From the Muslim World

'The Women's Voices Now' Film Festival: Women's Voices From the Muslim World

Commented Oct 8, 2010 at 19:27:30 in Impact

“What a terrific idea to give voice to “invisible” women and girls in a part of the world we know too little about in our country. We could only wish there were more people willing to go out there and use their voice to give voices to others. Kudos to Women’s Voices Now and Dr. Ahmed for bringing this important topic to light! Also, when you get a chance, check out some of the initial entries: http://womensvoicesnow.org/watch. Very powerful stuff! I can’t wait for the rest.”

Qanta Ahmed on Oct 9, 2010 at 10:34:26

“The beauty in this is that 'OUT THERE' is often 'RIGHT HERE'”

Qanta Ahmed on Oct 8, 2010 at 23:15:38

“Thank you Christopher. This is the age of information and seamless digital media which can be accessed cheaply almost anywhere. Treacherous groups like Al Qaeda have long mastered the leverage of mass media through viral video dissemination and internet access. Its time the rest of the Muslim world start recording their own messages, observations, stories, and triumphs. WVN provides the first such platform to do this thanks to vivid imaginations and vibrant compassion at the heart of its inception”