SWANA Creators Network Gathering

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Building community, skills, and strategy as SWANA diaspora

How do artists and media makers of the Southwest Asian & North African (SWANA) diaspora use art and media as a tool to work towards more inclusive, intersectional, and just diasporic communities?

This network gathering will bring together SWANA artists and media makers to share skills, strategies, and experiences using art and media as tools for building more just communities within the diaspora, and as bridges to building and healing across communities. Through sharing space and skills, we hope to build a stronger sense of community of SWANA artists and creators using media as tools for movement making, organizing, and influencing and how media-making moves our communities forward. Attendees will walk away with new strategies, approaches, and connections to other SWANA artists and media-makers, as well as have helped to craft a national collaborative network of SWANA artists and media-makers long-term. This network gathering will be hosted by HAFLA Detroit.

Coordinators of this network gathering are Ananas Khogali-Mustafa , Noura Ballout, Kamelya Youssef, Leyya Mona Tawil, and Leila Abdelrazaq.


Call for Participation

Calling on creators, artists, and media makers from the South West Asian and North African (SWANA*) diaspora throughout the North American continent to join us in a collaborative and visionary gathering at the 2018 AMC! Join us as we break bread together, and share our experience, skills, challenges, and ideas as creators of the SWANA diaspora.

How can we transform the media created about our communities? How can we transform the media we create for our communities? What problems or obstacles do we face that we can problem solve collectively, and build solutions to address long-term? How can and do we actively resist orientalism, anti-blackness, colonialism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia in our communities? And, what do we need to create in order to work together, to heal and build the communities we want to see and exist in, now and for the future?

The content of the network gathering will be sourced by participants. This space can and will be whatever you need it to be for the day. For security and safety purposes, we ask all participants to submit an application for participation in advance. Please include areas of focus or conversation that you would like space to address during the network gathering, as well as any needs or suggestions for the gathering that you may have.

*While the region is known to many in the English language as the “Middle East and North Africa” (MENA), we choose to use the term South West Asia and North Africa (SWANA) as a rejection and resistance of the colonial concept and term “The Middle East”.

This network gathering is sponsored by HAFLA, and coordinated by Noura Ballout, Ananas Khogali-Mustafa, Leila Abdelrazaq, Kamelya Youssef, and Leyya Tawil.


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