Category Archives: Projects

I’ve always described myself as an activist filmmaker. The desire to illuminate stories from the periphery, to create dialogue, challenge pieties, and disturb oppressive systems is why I became a filmmaker. Community projects, where diverse groups of people congregate, exchange ideas and transform one another, are also a form of art. So are collabs with other artists and activists. Recent projects I’ve been involved in.

Hopeful Art & Artful Hope

So energizing to be part of the Artists Round Table today and talk about Hopeful Art & Artful Hope. The convo was moderated by the wonderful Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli and I learned so much about the work of amazing artists/activists like Michaela Oteri, TL Luke, Kristy Lisle, Kierston Ghaznavi, Yvette Pino, and Della Wells.

Return to Sender: Women of Color in Colonial Postcards and the Politics of Representation

This NYSCA-funded project involves the completion of a short film “Women of Color in Colonial Postcards and the Politics of Representation” (approx. 30 min), a community screening and discussion at Cinema Arts Center; an art exhibit (including film stills and collages based on 19th-early 20th century postcards), an artist talk at Huntington Historical Society; and a free screening of the film at Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio in Southampton.

Trailer for Palestinian Film Festival Amsterdam

The Palestinian Film Festival Amsterdam, founded by my dear friend Nihal Rabbani, lifts the voices of Palestinian artists/filmmakers and educates audiences on the subject of Palestine. This year the festival will commemorate 75 years of the Nakba, the Great Catastrophe, which saw the mass expulsion of indigenous Palestinians in 1948. I edited the official trailer for the PFFA. It will take place at Rialto De Pijp from May 12-15, 2023.

Hofstra University | Issues in Judaism Lecture

Join us for a conversation between Shirly Bahar and Mara Ahmed about their recent scholarly and creative work related to oppression and the body. Bahar’s recent book, “Documentary Cinema in Israel-Palestine: Performance, the Body, the Home,” and Ahmed’s upcoming film, “The Injured Body,” both explore how colonialism, marginalization, and daily mental and emotional stresses from racism and othering impact the body.

Dasht-e-Tanhai – A Desert Soundscape

A poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, translated from the Urdu and read by Mara Ahmed, with sound design by Darien Lamen: Dasht-e-Tanhai (The Desert of Loneliness) or Yaad (Memory) has always moved me, its words and metaphors like pearls strung together with elegant ease. It embodies Faiz’s style of writing: filled with glorious ideas of beauty and social justice but always fluid, unencumbered, songful.

Conversation with writer Uzma Aslam Khan at McNally Jackson Seaport in NYC

Honored to engage in conversation with the brilliant Uzma Aslam Khan about her new book, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali, on June 28th at McNally Jackson Seaport in NYC. Beautifully written and part of the important process of decolonizing history and literature, Uzma’s book brings to life revolutions that have been erased and forgotten, and exposes the mechanics of colonial oppression.

Lost or Found

The following is a portion of the correspondence between Mara Ahmed and Claudia Pretelin. Ahmed is an interdisciplinary artist and activist filmmaker based on Long Island, New York. Claudia is an art historian, independent researcher, and arts administrator based in Los Angeles, California. Their correspondence is a collage of text, images, and references both literary and cultural. It is intimate and global, straddling distances between Mexico, Pakistan, Belgium and the US.

A Preview of the Injured Body at the ARTs + Change Virtual Conference (Activate, Reimagine, Transform)

A 50-minute presentation (including film clips) that talks about racial microaggressions through the lens of my upcoming film, The Injured Body (slated to be released later this year). The presentation will be followed by a 10-minute exercise (sparked by a multimedia piece involving dance, music, film footage and text), and we will conclude with a 15-minute group discussion that parses the group’s responses.