Wednesday, September 1, 2010

1700% Project: Mistaken For Muslim

Welcome to Documenting Social Injustice class!

Day One:

Watch the following video by artist, Anida Yoeu Ali.

Write 100 words or one page:
  • How and why does this film touch, move or inspire you?
  • How does it express, record, reveal or preserve?
  • How does it persuade or promote?
  • Relate your responses to the current "Islamophobia" issues being discussed (or ignored) by "Mainstream Media."


  1. This film moved me in the way that it was so visually and audibly compelling. I enjoyed the way she delivered the dialogue. She was so articulate and accentuated all of the consonants in her words, so that after she spoke them the lingered in my mind. She made each word important.
    I like how the film used the dancing figure to express the feelings being felt by each different account of racial violence. I believe the dancing figure exemplifies a person stripped of absolutely everything. Race, gender, clothes, anything that sets them apart from someone else. I feel that this figure is just a blank template, as if to express that no one is free from discrimination if they are different in any way.
    Post 9/11 stirred up our current "Islamophobia" if not created it all together. It seems that anyone who happens to be any shade of brown can be mistaken for Muslim. America created this false sense of patriotism that in order to be "American" you have to hate people who could be Muslim. These acts of violence are going on but I didn't even know about them until I watched this film. "No one tried to help" burns in my brain. I feel that when something like that happens, people are afraid to stick up for them even though they know it's wrong, because they feel like they will be targeted as being "un-american"

  2. The colors in these images are loaded with meaning, the monologue uses repetitive and harsh sounds to capture attention and the movement from silence to sound and returning all made this piece a complete experience for me. I was removed from myself and could see all the places in my mind on the map of America where the different crimes she spoke of occurred. All of the images she creates are not reflected on screen which to me is lovely for how they could have shown much without losing the grace and flow of the story is far beyond me. The way the music swells with the story and then ends almost abruptly truly allows the viewer to focus on the atrocities of which they hear. It persuades through spreading more than awareness but responsibility as well; it commits to all who view it the responsibility of behavior our mainstream media seems to think above us. 1700% is truthful, factual and indisputable.

  3. By: Carlos Acevedo

    I think this film is great. I like the quick/rapid shots as she tells her story. She is articulate, I can understand her message and the music, and variety of shots flow very well. I like how the film focuses with a close up on a subject when she tells about an incident that happened. I also like how the film caputures the passion and expression in her face. The guy dancing and painted in white to me, was a symbol of Muslims. I feel he represented every incident that happened. As an incident was read, you could see the pain in the face of the man painted in white. This film does make me think about the many things that muslims or people mistaken for muslim are suffering. The things that they go through and may not always be covered, or covered enough by the main stream media.

  4. The film touches me because it's an issue that has been happening over time. People are mistaken or misunderstood because of a tragedy, and ultimately people sometimes feel the need to take action themselves. The film reveals the ignorance of some people and it exposes it for what it really is. This film also persuades people to stop the violence and to truly think about who they are as a person and ones actions when considering harming another human being. This film makes me think about the laws they were trying to set to keep immigrants out of America by giving law officials the right to stop anyone on the street based upon their skin color and ask them for identification.

  5. This piece is visually unique, uses emotive music and sounds, and a quick pace. This dramatic presence reflects the dramatic and important nature of the film. Content-wise, it seems to flash through the scenarios of mistaken identity rather quickly. I'm not sure if I think it is successful at persuasion because it is very abstract and the viewer might not relate to the individual stories. I think it is good for younger viewers.


  6. The way the spoken word was delivered was effective and powerful, but I was so distracted by the imagery at the first viewing, her message did not stick with me. She did a brillant job of converying the building tension, anger and injustice to those who are affected by the prejudice against Muslims.
    I agree with Deborah that this video is more for younger viewers or the arts community rather than the average Joe. You would have to repeatedly watch it to absorb everything.

  7. This video took the power of repetition to whole new level for me. I watched it a couple of times now and each time, the words "mistaken for Muslim" was used, it dealt with new meaning. At first the phrase is as if the phrase is feeling sorrow for the Muslim population, but then it sounds to me that the groups who are being mistaken for Muslim are mad about it because now they are being discriminated against. Towards the end, we start to see how just because someone is brown wears a certain clothing, looks a certain way, etc. they are hated against just because of one particular example; which is just sad. The white character with the black eyes is very symbolic to me because it says to me "if we look like this, the way some would like to see everyone (white and the same, and most importantly, without voice), the world would be a much better place.

  8. This video is packed with repetition and compelling dialogue, this is enough ammunition to convey a powerful message. The creator even took further steps to drill into the viewers head that you can't fight hate with hate. The video is done with artistic dance and performance, this can alienate an entire demographic who is used to the "CNN" style of reporting, however I personally appreciate the artist’s use of nontraditional story telling.