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Need: Support For Hip Hop Hijabis - Spreading Gender Justice Through Music

Feature documentary about ‘Poetic Pilgrimage’. Two Muslim converts promoting women's rights through music. And finding their own voices on the way... We have lots of great footage but need your help to finish it!

WHO ARE THESE HIP HOP HIJABIS?

Sukina and Muneera met at a local teen talent show in their hometown of Bristol where Muneera was DJing and Sukina was singing. They bonded over their love of music, passion for social justice, spiritual curiosity and shared Jamaican heritage. A close friendship developed and eventually manifested itself as Poetic Pilgrimage - a spoken word and Hip Hop duo on fire!

After exploring different belief systems they eventually converted to Islam in 2005 inspired by the autobiography of Malcolm X, despite initial concerns about the position of Muslim women. After further research they feel convinced that cultural traditions and misinterpretations have distorted the egalitarian message of early Islam and decide to challenge certain attitudes via catchy tunes and hard-hitting rhymes. And as the feisty and fun-loving young ladies they are, the fact that some consider music to be haram, or forbidden, is not going to deter them on their quest for justice...

WHAT WILL THE FILM BE LIKE?

Hip Hop Hijabis is a feature documentary that follows the personal and professional lives of Poetic Pilgrimage over three life-changing years. We go behind the scenes at major international events but also share the private highs and lows as difficult decisions need to be made. It’s an emotional, thought-provoking and engaging musical road movie that takes us on a journey through the UK, US and Morocco.

The film is shot in an observational style in an attempt to be as impartial as possible. It doesn't advocate a particular view or solution, but aims to foster constructive dialogue about gender equality, religion, extremism and Islamophobia within Muslim and secular communities alike.

Above all it is a universal story of friendship, love, idealism and spirituality and two young women finding their place in the world.

AND THEN WHAT?

Once the film is finished we of course hope it will screen on TV and at festivals, but we want it to be more than just a film. Below are some of our plans. Please get in touch if you or your organisation want to get involved or have ideas and feedback.

Community screenings in youth clubs, schools, mosques, women’s groups, universities, etc.

Creative workshops.

Educational material for schools and youth clubs.

Panel debates with leading scholars, academics, activists and artists.

An online platform for participants to share their creative output and carry on the conversation.

WHO’S DOING IT?

Director: Mette Reitzel. Mette has worked as an assistant, researcher and writer for numerous award-winning directors of commercials and feature films via RSA Films, MJZ, Partizan and Gorgeous Enterprises to mention a few. Here she developed an astute sense of visually concise and emotionally engaging story-telling. Originally from Denmark, she travelled extensively before settling in the UK and is a photography graduate from London College of Printing.

Cinematographer: Emma Dalesman. Emma has a sharp eye, a steady shoulder, an MA from the prestigious National Film and Television School, several award-nominations and eight years of experience on everything from TV drama, commercials, animation and documentaries. She also has lots of patience, stamina and that lovely northern down-to-earthiness.

Executive Producers: Sylvia Stevens and Caroline Spry of Faction Films. Faction has been making documentary films for international broadcast and distribution for nearly 30 years on a wide range of cultural and social issues.

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

The donations will mostly go towards editing, – digging out all the best bits from our many hours of footage and condensing it into one amazing film. We also need to do a bit more filming.

That means renting equipment and workspace and paying for sound design and grading of the final film. About 25% will be spent on the perks, processing fees and cost of running the campaign.

We are applying for additional funding from foundations towards distribution and outreach and aim to have the film finished by the summer of 2013.

Together with Sukina and Muneera we have put together a package of exciting perks. They are listed right over there... on the right.

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO HELP?

Your contribution will help make this project the best it can be. And sharing the news will make it even better. At the top of the page you will find links to share the campaign with your social network. If you want to join the conversation and follow the project online, please click here:

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