Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy: How film transforms the way we see the world
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy makes documentary films. She's the founder of the Citizens Archive of Pakistan, dedicated to preserving Pakistan's history. Full bio
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of asking difficult questions.
six children, had no time for them.
for the local English-language newspaper
to the entire country, she said.
just how young I was
that named and shamed
wanted to teach me a lesson.
and my family's name
across our front gate
who was a strict man of tradition,
in front of me and said,
I will stand with you,
and they whitewashed the walls.
to jolt people,
if I did something visual.
a documentary filmmaker,
onto marginalized communities
violence against women.
people perceive issues.
speaks to our emotions,
at things differently.
to go beyond cinema.
wanted to raise --
a mirror to society --
by my barometer of anger.
led me, in 2014, to honor killings.
in many parts of the world,
who transgress rules made by them:
to marry on their own free will;
of having illicit relationships.
would be known as murder.
from the perspective of a survivor.
I was reading the newspaper,
had miraculously survived
by her father and her uncle
out of her free will,
her father and her uncle to jail,
leaving the hospital,
to forgive perpetrators,
that she would be ostracized
from the community,
had been well within his right,
that we had set out to make.
fought the case and won,
perceived honor killings,
for an Academy Award,
while sending his congratulations,
of the film at his office.
of the country had ever done so.
on national television,
throughout the country:
in honor killings," he said.
for the legislative push to continue,
because I didn't expect to be onstage.
telling a billion people watching
had pledged to change the law,
of holding the prime minister accountable.
dominated headline news,
in the law to be closed.
after months of campaigning,
in the name of honor
and its message to the heartland,
across the country.
a very positive role
in a positive direction.
these small towns and villages?
the length and breadth of the country,
in small towns and villages.
that would light up the night sky,
an opportunity to come together
in the mobile cinema.
that are segregated,
cultural norms in order to do so,
inside the cinema,
where women could go inside and watch
to competing worldviews,
to build critical thinking
beyond honor killings,
religious tolerance and compassion.
in which they were heroes, not victims,
the court system, the police system,
welcomed in so many of the places
television or social media,
for their children to learn.
we were bringing with us.
cinema team resigned
that we were screening in,
to know about their rights.
when a screening was shut down,
and ordered it back on,
to expose the young minds
and to this content.
so many of these heroes on our journey.
that only they could watch
had a discussion,
sat down to watch together.
of violence behind bars,
that if men are violent,
are seen as championing women,
to take on those roles.
in which they are heads of state
and doctors and in leadership positions,
to step into those roles.
people in these villages interact,
into other places.
and wants to take our mobile cinema
and spread it across the world.
they interact with women,
the way they see the world,
ABOUT THE SPEAKERSharmeen Obaid-Chinoy - Filmmaker
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy makes documentary films. She's the founder of the Citizens Archive of Pakistan, dedicated to preserving Pakistan's history.
Why you should listen
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a film producer and journalist who has worked on 14 films for major networks in the United States and Britain. Her films include Children of the Taliban (with Dan Edge), The Lost Generation (about Iraqi exiles) and Afghanistan Unveiled. Her work has taken her around the world, where she has filmed and worked with refugees, women’s advocacy groups and human rights defenders. By bringing their voices to the outside world, she has often helped them bring about a critical change in their community.
Obaid-Chinoy helped found the Citizens Archive of Pakistan, a nonprofit, volunteer organization that fosters and promotes community-wide interest in the culture and history of Pakistan. Citizens Archive works with thousands of children, teaching critical thinking skills and instilling a sense of pride about their history and identity.
Obaid-Chinoy is a TED2010 Fellow.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy | Speaker | TED.com