Voices of Muslim Women from the US South

A film by Maha Marouan and Rachel Raimist

US | 2015 | 32 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 161179

SYNOPSIS

When one thinks of the American Deep South, the image of veiled Muslim students strolling the University of Alabama campus is the last thing that comes to mind. VOICES OF MUSLIM WOMEN FROM THE US SOUTH is a documentary that explores the Muslim culture through the lens of five University of Alabama Muslim students. The film tackles how Muslim women carve a space for self-expression in the Deep South and how they negotiate their identities in a predominantly Christian society that often has unflattering views about Islam and Muslims. Through interviews with students and faculty at Alabama, this film examines representations and issues of agency by asking: How do Muslim female students carve a space in a culture that thinks of Muslims as terrorists and Muslim women as backward?

PRESS

“In an environment where words such as ‘extremism' and ‘violence' are all too prevalent, the voices in this film ring true, pure, proud and enlightened. VOICES tackles head on the plethora of stereotypes about Muslim women…all in simple, accessible and refreshing clarity.”

Azza Karam, Senior Advisor on Culture, UNFPA

"This short film is important not only because it gives American Muslim women a voice to explain their own experiences in their own words, but also because it problematizes caricatures of Muslim women while highlighting an array of looks, opinions and styles, all on equal terms."

Iman Boukadoum Esq., Activist and Human Rights Lawyer

This sensitive film draws us into the compelling life-stories of Muslim female students…who must navigate issues of race, gender, ethnicity, and class on a daily basis, along with their generally misunderstood minority religious status. Recommended for all undergraduates, student groups, faculty, and administrators who need or seek intercultural understanding."

Rosalind I. J. Hackett, PhD, Professor University of Tennessee

“Maha Marouan and Rachel Raimist succeed in delightfully portraying the kaleidoscope of young Muslim women’s realities in the heart of the Southern United States — in and of itself an unheard of first.”

Azza Karam Senior Advisor on Culture, UNFPA

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

  • Middle East Studies Association Film Festival

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Rachel Raimist

Dr. Rachel Raimist is a filmmaker and associate professor of media production at The University of Alabama. She is an award-winning filmmaker whose most known for Nobody Knows My Name, the first documentary about women in hip-hop distributed by Women Makes Movies. Her work has aired on HBO, VH1, PBS, and The BBC. She has screened at numerous film festivals including SXSW, Women in the Director's Chair, Slamdance, and The Los Angeles Film Festival. She has received grants from Women In Film, The Minnesota States Arts Board, Independent Feature Project, and was selected as a Faculty Fellow of the Emmy Foundation's Television Academy. She holds a B.A. in Film & Television and an M.F.A. in Directing from The UCLA School of Film and Television, and a M.A. in Women's Studies and a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies from The University of Minnesota. The Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at The University of Minnesota is named in her honor. (12/15)

Maha Marouan

Dr. Maha Marouan is a feminist scholar and activist. She is a professor of African American Studies and Women Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her work focuses on the intersection of race, gender and religion in the construction of female subjectivities. She was born and grew up in Morocco and spent most of her adult life in Europe and the U.S. She works extensively with Muslim girls in in academic and activist settings on issues related to gender equity, Islamophobia and girls and women’s leadership roles. (11/15)

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