Image from “Barriers of Separation” by Raghad Al Khatib. (Image courtesy of Another Kind of Girl Collective)

Another Kind Of Girl Collective To Visit Athena Cinema

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The Athens Center for Film and Video presents Athens International Film + Video Festival Visiting Filmmakers, Another Kind of Girl Collective, with Laura Doggett in person for a post film discussion, Thursday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Athena Cinema in downtown Athens. Admission is free.

The event will feature the short films of Marah Al Hassan, Khaldiya Jibawi, Raghad Al Khatib, Walaa Al Alawi, Bushra Al Masri, Rafif Al Fadel and Muna Al Hariri. Each of these Syrian girls attended a photo and video workshop developed and facilitated by documentary filmmaker/educator Laura Doggett with documentary animator/educator Tasneem Toghoj.

For these girls, storytelling offers the possibility not just to change the trajectories of their own personal narratives, but to offer this empowerment of change to other girls, and to give alternative ways of seeing to people in their communities and to the world beyond.
Only two years into the war, over 3,500 journalists had traveled through the Camp Za’atari to tell stories of the Syrian people who were forced out of their country to live in exile in Jordan. The stories told did not reflect the complexities of the situation and were largely tragic.

In response to the mainstream media reporting of the refugee experience, two workshops were organized to give Syrian girls, living as refugees in Jordan’s camps and urban areas, cameras and the chance to tell their own stories.

The workshops, one in Jordan’s Za’atari Refugee Camp and the other in the city of Irbid in northern Jordan, engaged Syrian girls in artistic and technical training in photo and video to reflect on and tell their own stories in first person. With cameras, microphones and pens in hand, the girls set out to document their everyday lives—how it looks, feels and sounds from the ground, at the heart of their world.

“Many of the events from the war remain fixed in our minds and hearts because they were so severe. But we can’t articulate them, and so I chose to do art and filmmaking and use some of the courage and bravery found within me to express a part of what is inside of me, and what is happening to many young women in my community. I have a lot of ideas and a lot of important issues that I want to put out there to the community. And I hope that each young woman is able to express her inner-self directly and indirectly in order to break the chains of bondage, namely being afraid of what people will say and being afraid of how people will look at you,” said filmmaker, Walaa Al Alawi, 16 years old from Dara’a, Syria.

Check out this interview with Khaldiya Jibawi director of Another Kind of Girl on NPR.