by Sue May
I like to use this time of year to remind myself that changing my perspective is of the utmost importance. Sometimes change happens with ease, otherwise, I put up a fight. Then, I remember that all I have to do is move slightly to the right or left, and just relax.
By the middle of the year, I was well into researching the Arts and emerging youth artistic groups, artists and filmmakers in the Middle East. I found an amazing little film about sexual harassment in the streets of Kabul by a young feminist: Sahar Fetrat. Fetrat’s film isn’t jolly or holiday-ish, but it is celebratory in a Global-Feminism way. Celebratory when an Afghan teen (16) female filmmaker decides to make herself/her perspective known.
As 2013 comes to a close and 2014 emerges with all the promise of a new tomorrow, “Do Not Believe in My Silence!” reminds us how women are still being forced to live with few choices, zero respect and in heartbreaking silence. This project dove to the core of my feminist soul, as it took me back to my teens: “What was I doing at 16 years old, the same age Fetrat was when she made her film?”
Well, was not bravely exposing sexual harassment in the streets of one of the most dangerous cities on earth, but it was the first time I thought of myself in relation to other females around the world. The thought process eventually lead me to question: “If other girls [& women] are unable to live safe, happy and respected lives, am I truly safe in this world?” Unfortunately, I must still ask myself this question, as global hostility and abuse of girls and women is still the norm.
This film should not be missed because it will show you what happens to the “Other” when individuals, who eventually form and dominate entire societies/countries, are unwilling and/or unable to change their perspective. If you like the film, you can read more about Fetrat and her sisters on the links posted below.
In closing, I hope that your holiday season is all that you desire it to be.
Exploding Myths, Not Bombs by Pawanpreet Kaur
Kabul Through the Looking Glass by Sunaina Kumar
Change is not easy in Afghanistan. But it’s not impossible.
~ Sahar Fetrat