Sunday 2 pm
From the Old Testament to modern times, law and culture in the Middle East has primarily been controlled by men, with women relegated to "outsider" status even when they're born and raised in the region. Enabled in part by social and media access, a rising tide of feminism is changing the conversation. Women have joined forces with each other, and sometimes with outsiders, to expand the dialogue. In some cases, like in the Woodstock film The Promised Band, outsiders and female insiders joining forces is an effective combination for magnifying the female voice: both groups offer legitimization to each other in the face of active campaigns to minimize and discredit their mutual stories and perspectives. Progress is happening, but there are still many obstacles, including occasional violent opposition. Join our panel of female artists, academics and activists from or working in the region (particularly Israel and Palestine) for a frank conversation about how things have been, and where, with continued accessibility, they may be going.
Panelists: (listed alphabetically)
Viki Ausender was born in Rehovot, Israel, to immigrant parents from the Soviet Union. She received her Masters in International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,and currently lives in Tel Aviv, where she serves as the Head of the Capital Markets desk for 'Calcalist,' Israel's leading economic daily. She is a Captain in reserve for the IDF.
Olga M. Davidson earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University in Near Eastern Studies and is on the faculty of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, Boston University, where she has served as Research Fellow since 2009. Previously, she was Chair of the Concentration in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University. Since 1999, she has been Chair of the Board, Ilex Foundation. She is the author of Poet and Hero in the Persian Book of Kings and Comparative Literature and Classical Persian Poetry, Bibliotheca Iranica: Intellectual Traditions Series, both of which have been translated into Persian and distributed in Iran. Her articles have appeared in Ferdowsi's Shahnam, the Bulletin of the Asia Institute, Journal of the American Oriental Society and Epic and History.
Jen Heck completed her MFA at Columbia University's film program in 2009. She has had work at major film festivals, including Sundance, The Hamptons and Palm Springs, at museums including the Whitney (Biennial 2004, with Eve Sussman) and MoMA, and on networks including MTV, HGTV, Bravo, and VH1. She has won awards at festivals for her short narrative films Airplanes and Salamander, both photographed by Martina Radwan. She currently works as a documentary and reality TV producer/director in New York.
Lina Qadri was born in Kuwait from a Syrian mother and a Palestinian father. She studied fine arts and graduated from AN Najah in Nablus City, Palestine. She is a current MA gender and development student at Birzeit University.
Martina Radwan is a native German with Syrian roots, now based in NYC. She's been the cinematographer for award-winning documentaries and features for over a decade. Saving Face, the 2012 Academy Award Winner for Short Documentary about the fight for justice after women suffer acid attacks in Pakistan, earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Cinematography in 2013. Her recent work includes The Eagle Huntress, Watchers of the Sky and Through A Lens Darkly. She directed two successful shorts, Spring in Awe and Aliens Among Us and is currently directing and producing her first feature-length doc about her involvement with three homeless Mongolian teenagers and the complicated relationship between filmmaker and subjects.
Dr. Holly Shaw Director, UN DPI Executive Committee; Vice Chair, UN NGO Committee on Mental Health; Co-Convener, Working Group on Refugee & Immigrant Mental Health; representing The Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH) to the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI; Associate Professor, Adelphi University, College of Nursing and Public Health.