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2011 Emerging Crises Research Fund Grant: Sawt

Women donning homemade signs marched alongside their fellow countrymen and peacefully destroyed the fabric of autocracy blanketing Egypt for generations. Sawt, which means “voice” in Arabic, is an oral narrative and documentary project about women’s participation in the January Revolution. These intimate interviews include testimonials from activists and protestors but also contextualize this movement with women’s experiences and ruminations on poverty, discrimination, art, family and the future of Egypt. Over 30 subtitled interviews will be accessible on the Sawt website and archived in the Columbia Center for Oral History database.

Our belief in the transformative power of art and storytelling inspired the project’s cinematic element; a short animated documentary. Selected excerpts will be married with animation and stylized video footage. By animating individual experiences we hope to give a general audience a deeper understanding of women’s experiences and their prominent role in the January Revolution. The documentary is currently in the development stage.

Sawt was founded and co-directed by Rhana Natour and Tamara Shogaolu. For more information, visit http://www.sawtvoices.com

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