Podcast, Arts & Culture

Episode 205: Film and the Political — with Nadia Shihab

March 14, 2023
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Artist, filmmaker, and Assistant Professor for the School of Contemporary Arts, Nadia Shihab, sits down with Am Johal to explore her path as a filmmaker.

Nadia begins by sharing her university days as an Iraqi student at the University of Texas, feeling a personal sense of loss from the war, and burnout from her student activism within a conservative state. She speaks of this as the inspiration for her first film, I Come from Iraq. Nadia also explores the inspirations and meanings of her other films, such as Amal’s Garden and Jaddoland. She and Am also explore her urban planning background, and Nadia shares some advice for aspiring student filmmakers.

About Our Guest

Nadia Shihab

Nadia Shihab is an artist and filmmaker whose work explores the personal, the relational, and the diasporic.

Her studio practice includes film, collage and sound. She is the director of several short films and the feature-length film JADDOLAND, which was awarded five festival jury awards, including the Independent Spirit "Truer than Fiction" Award, and went on to broadcast for two seasons on US public television.

Her work has shown in exhibitions and festivals internationally, including at the Centre Pompidou, Walker Art Center, Berkeley Art Museum, Dubai International Film Festival, DOXA, CAAMFest, and New Orleans Film Festival. She is the recipient of fellowships and support from the Sundance Institute, Center for Asian American Media, Firelight Media, and Tribeca Film Institute, and has been an artist-in-residency at the MacDowell Colony and Djerassi Residency.

Her creative practice is bolstered by over a decade of experience as a community practitioner. She holds an MFA in Art Practice (UC Berkeley, 2021), as well as a Master in City & Regional Planning (UC Berkeley, 2009) – a degree which grounds her art practice within critical understandings of urban space and practical training in ethnography. Her community-based work includes Fulbright research in southeastern Turkey, and facilitating projects spanning affordable housing preservation, refugee youth mentorship, and community-guided philanthropy. She was raised in west Texas by immigrant parents from Iraq & Yemen.

Cite This Episode

Chicago Style

Johal, Am. “Film and the Political — with Nadia Shihab.” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, March 14, 2023.


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