One such story is of hip-hop artist Sister Fa and her efforts to stop the practice of female genital cutting (FGC) in her home country of Senegal. From her early days as an unpolished music phenom, through a career-reinvention in Berlin, Sister Fa has continually smashed barriers in the male-dominated hip-hop world. But as the stirring documentary Sarabah reveals, her strength of character was forged in a journey of hardship and transformation. Now, with the support of her husband and child, Sister Fa speaks out about her own experience as a survivor of FGC, and travels with her band to rural Senegal, where she launches a music-packed education campaign that culminates in an emotional visit to her home village. Sister Fa will be joining Link for a LIVE web chat following the broadcast and online presentation of Sarabah Sunday, March 4 at 11am PT/2pm ET, to take questions about her story and important work.Questions can be posted in advance here.
These stories are so important, and sharing them is what fosters action and change. So tune in to Link TV (DISH 9410 DIRECTV 375) from March 1-8 to honor women around the globe. You'll see issues and perspectives uncovered and unseen on any other media outlets. Watch as Iranian women activists risk their safety to confront political candidates, and Western women trade their comfortable lives for experiences as Tribal Wives. Find out what it takes To Educate a Girl in Nepal and Uganda, and follow Nigerian doctors, midwives and families to the frontlines of maternal care. And of course -- tune in to the hit Danish drama Borgen, the TV show currently on American airwaves that showcases a female head of state.
For more information on these programs and ways to get involved in Link's efforts to lift women globally, please visit linktv.org/women
If you read and watch entertainment news, you know that an Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadiis, is racking up the Hollywood awards for A Separation even in a climate of US-imposed sanctions. And if you're paying attention to most media coverage, you're well aware of the nuclear issue. But other than that, do we have a lens into the lives and stories of Iranians? Does this kind of cultural lens matter as we settle into our perspectives about Iran? Yes. Without showing the lives, struggles and culture of everyday people living and working in Iran, we in the West have a potentially skewed image of Iranians.
In 2006, Link TV developed a documentary TV series, Bridge to Iran, to provide a window into the lives and struggles of everyday Iranians -- to respond to the cultural and political tensions that have developed between Iran and the US since the Iranian Revolution. Over the years, Bridge to Iran has covered a wide range of social and political issues in modern Iran, including the experiences of young girls facing womanhood and uncertain futures, religious pilgrims who risk their lives to visit a holy site in war-torn Iraq, rural life and political awareness, an exploration of Tehran as an urban metropolis, and Iranian women's participation in the election process.
The new season premieres on February 14. In each of the four episodes of Bridge to Iran, in-depth discussions between host Parisa Soultani and top Iranian filmmakers provide a unique lens into some of the challenges and realities facing Iranians during a time of increased instability -- including censorship, sanctions and safety concerns.
Here are the details about the films and when to catch the episodes, on Link TV or online:
Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution, directed by Nader Takmil Homayoun, explores the history and politics of Iran through its rich filmmaking tradition; premieres on February 14 at 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT and February 16 at 10:00pm PT. Watch online starting February 14.
The Queen and I, directed by Nahid Sarvestani, documents the filmmaker's complex relationship with the exiled former queen of Iran; premieres on February 21 at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT and February 23 at 10:00pm PT. Watch online now!
We Are Half of Iran's Population, directed by Rakhshan Bani Etemad, looks at women's participation in the controversial 2009 elections; premieres on February 28 at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT and March 1 at 10:00pm PT. Watch online now!
Siah Bazi (The Joy Makers), directed by Maryam Khakipour, traces the demise of a popular form of irreverent street theater; premieres on March 6 at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT and March 8 at 10:00pm PT. Watch online starting March 6.
Bridge to Iran offers a diverse perspective on a country on the receiving end of a torrent of media attention -- but with a lens that's inclusive of the people and the art found within Iranian borders. We hope you'll tune in and tell others.
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Caty Borum Chattoo is a producer and communication strategist with Link TV, assistant professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, DC, and media fellow with the AU Center for Social Media.