100 Women We Love: Nadia Awad

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Nadia Awad is a Palestinian-American filmmaker whose passion for digital media is matched only by her passion for human rights and refugee stories, particularly about those with HIV. The Brooklyn-based artist chose filmmaking because "cinema impacts us in ways no other media does; it creates memory, it generates our image of the broader world." After working in a law firm that handled HIV-based and sexual orientation-based claims, Awad wanted to produce a documentary about HIV-based asylum claims. But it did not materialize for foreseeable reasons: "All of my subjects got deported," she says. "I could not find the resources quickly enough to follow them or, in some cases, find them." Undeterred, Awad went on to curate videos for Queer/Palestinian: Critical Strategies in Palestinian Queer and Women’s Filmmaking. She’s also shown her own work at the Iraqi Civilian Memorial Project, and Flux Factory’s Objects of War exhibition. Awad currently is directing a documentary on the first solidarity delegation of LGBT people to Palestine. In her eyes, it’s a momentous endeavor: "People, especially queer people, are not used to seeing Arabs—let alone Palestinians—function as the image-makers, as creative agents. This was really significant." Stay tuned for ways Awad will continue to shed new light on little-seen subjects. –DN

Free Life Campaign 10/27