Sarah El Attar and Amal Mouttaki are two French Moroccan filmmakers.
In 2016, Sarah and Amal determined to journey to the USA, in the course of the presidential election, to movie a documentary referred to as Togæther – a contraction Collectively and To Collect – on the notion of Muslims in America.
All through this journey, they explored cities like New York, D.C, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco or Los Angeles and met Muslims from all walks of life.
Within the interviews, the filmmakers listened to everybody’s perspective and expertise permitting American Muslims to take again the narrative, inform their very own tales and problem present stereotypes.
How did we get the thought to movie a documentary about American Muslims? What impressed us to make it?
As younger French Muslims, we now have grown up in a publish September 11 context, in a world the place Islam has all the time been stigmatized and portrayed negatively by the mainstream media. It’s on this particular context that we needed to construct our id as younger Muslims within the West.
We have now witnessed the simplification and generalization of media discourses round Muslim Religion and watched all of this construct up stereotypes conflating Islam and terrorism, inflicting inherently the event of Islamophobia to the purpose that the mistrust and hatred of Muslims have develop into commonplace.
We have been merely overwhelmed by all of that and every little thing that occurred these previous few years. We really feel unhappy, indignant and even depressed each time we hear a few terrorist assault as a result of harmless lives are being taken. However we additionally really feel extraordinarily annoyed by the backlash that follows, the demonization of Muslims and the normalization of islamophobia.
As many different Muslims, we felt emotionally drained. We reached the purpose we couldn’t be passive anymore, we needed to do one thing and that’s how the entire concept of Togæther got here to life. We didn’t have a variety of funds or the perfect gear. At the moment, we had simply completed our research however we determined that we didn’t need to be bystanders anymore and wanted to take an motion with our personal means. We couldn’t proceed to permit others to write down or inform our tales for us.
Making this documentary was our approach of utilizing our expertise, creativity and skills to attempt to make a distinction, to advertise tolerance and coexistence, to boost consciousness about islamophobia and racism.
We hope that this documentary can problem misconceptions and stereotypes, get individuals considering and fire up a debate via human tales, tales of American Muslims. We hope to point out variety among the many Muslim group as a result of the illustration of Muslims within the media and political conversations are very reductive.
Our objective can also be to humanize Muslims, we hope that listening to American Muslims confide, speak about their experiences and the way they really feel, will permit viewers to see them in a unique mild and perceive their conditions. We need to spotlight the facility of phrases and pictures used within the mainstream media and by politicians typically to control, to encourage worry-mongering, to strengthen ignorance and divide individuals.
Within the combined society we stay at the moment, we went in search of the perfect platform for Muslims. And naturally, we didn’t discover it. So we made one ourselves.
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