Filmmaker and writer Farhat Rahman ’13 served as a panelist at Brown Girl Magazine’s Slashie Summit this past October. The aim of the all-day event was to challenge the stigmas South Asian artists face in pursuing their creative aspirations. Rahman, who uses the pronouns they/them/theirs, got involved when they noticed a lack of representation of marginalized identities within the summit’s content.
So, they pitched a panel discussion on the financial and cultural realities faced by South Asian artists, especially those who are often missing from the mainstream dialogue, such as Indo Caribbean, queer, transgender, Dalit, and Muslim entities. The organizers agreed and added Realities of Marginalized South Asian Diasporic Voices in the Side Hustle to the agenda. Rahman and five other artists represented multiple disciplines, including queer podcasting, television, modeling, acting, and film directing.
For their part, Rahman spoke about the shift from South Asians adopting Muslim terrorist acting roles to more nuanced depictions of South Asian American struggles and also about the revolution in the Indian film industry that has seen caste-oppressed filmmakers emerge to reimagine what it means to be Dalit and authentically represent the daily oppression faced by those at the margins.