Mizna – Sally Awards 2018 | Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Mizna – Sally Awards 2018 | Ordway Center for the Performing Arts


(Arabic music) – [Leilah] Mizna is an Arab American, biannual, literary journal. They also do a yearly Arab film festival. Even though they started
as a literary journal, they’ve really put Arab
American filmmakers on the map as well through showcasing their work at the
Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, which is one of only a handful
that exists in the country. So, when Arab American artists
and writers come to the Twin Cities, Mizna is the
first place that they go to. (Arabic music continues) When people want to
reconnect with their roots, they go to Mizna. When people want to connect with other Arab artists and writers,
they go to Mizna. Its become this hub. I fell in love with the organization and the work that they do, and like this idea that this is something that’s for us and by us. They provide platforms
to us that, you know, have not existed before. The average person, their
exposure to Arab culture, and Arab people in general, usually only comes from the news, and that tends to be
extremely negative (chuckles), and Mizna comes in and, not
only smashes those stereotypes, but is like, we’re more than this, we’re more than these
conflicts you see on TV, we’re more than colonization. We’re more than war, and you know, sometimes you just want to
read a poem about Hummus, or falling in love, that isn’t political. Mizna really humanizes us
at a time when the media’s constantly dehumanizing and
stripping us of our humanity.

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