#178 Sonita Alizadeh “Afghan Rapper and Activist”

Sonita Alizadeh was born in Herat, Afghanistan under the reign of the Taliban regime. Her family walked hundreds of miles to Iran in the rain and snow to escape. She grew up an impoverished, undocumented, refugee street child in Tehran. Without official papers, she could not attend school until a local non-governmental organization offered assistance; they provided a basic education to undocumented, refugee Afghan children.

At the age of ten, she was sold into forced marriage, but the contract fell through. Six years later, her family again wanted to sell her as a bride. With the help of a documentary filmmaker who had been following her story, they bought her some time.

Witnessing the injustices of the world, her friends swiftly disappearing as they were forced to marry, and fearing her own future, she wrote the song “Daughters for Sale.” With the aid of the Iranian filmmaker, a music video was recorded, and she was soon offered an opportunity to attend school in the US, so she fled.

Her story can be viewed in the award-winning documentary by Rohksareh Ghaemmaghemi which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, titled Sonita. (Sign up for a library card if you don’t already have one and then you can view it!)

She has been privileged to be named as one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s Global Thinkers of 2015, BBC’s 100 Women of 2015, an Asia Societies Game Changer of 2017, a 2018 MTV Generation Change Award recipient, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2019 and featured by CNN, NPR, BBC, Buzzfeed News and over 150 publications in 20 countries.

More than 12 million girls are forced to marry as children every year, she hopes to aid in finding a solution to the problem—to help save the lives of the next generation.

Today we talk about her life, her music and her dreams.

Sonita’s Instagram Account

Sonita’s YouTube Channel

We heard the songs “Daughters for Sale,” “Moaref,” “Run Boy,” and “Brave and Bold” by Sonita.

Today’s show was engineered by Ian Seda of Radio Kingston, with a little assist from Manuel on some file editing.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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#137 Maria Elena Ferrer-Harrington “Artist and Consultant”

Maria Elena Ferrer-Harrington is the Executive Director of Humanamente — a diversity and inclusion consulting organization, Chair of the Athena Network New York — a psychosocial support network in the area of social services, health, and specifically in mental health, for immigrants experiencing psychological challenges related to the migratory process, a board member of the Family of Woodstock — a network of individuals whose mission is to provide confidential and fully accessible crisis intervention, information, prevention, and support services to address the needs of individuals and families, and a socially engaged artist.

Maria Elena has successfully facilitated migration-related workshops since 2004. As a member of the global Athena Network Association, Maria Elena has presented her work with immigrants at the network’s annual Migration and Mental Health congress in London, Rome, Berlin and Brussels. She introduced the concept of migratory mourning nationally in 2012, and has since led migratory-mourning panel discussions at several conferences.

She is a member of the Arts Mid-Hudson Advisory Board, and has been recently appointed by Kingston’s Mayor, Steve Noble, to the City Arts Commission. Maria Elena’s drawings and paintings were recently exhibited at the Muroff–Kotler Visual Arts Gallery at the State University of New York at Ulster awarding her the opportunity to show her artwork at highly regarded Plaza Gallery of the State University of New York in Albany in 2019. She juried the Cornell Creative Arts Center’s very first exhibition, “We’re All Humans,” and inaugurated The DRAW’s new studio at the Energy Square with her art installation, “Masking Identities: Rebuilding Deterritorialized Cultural Memories,” a deep dive into the complexity of the migrant’s narrative and experience. Both art shows are open to the public through October 2020.

Today she shares her own experience as a migrant, what migratory mourning is, the complexities of migration, rebirthing and of course ART!

Today’s show was engineered by Manuel Blas of La Dosis Perfecta.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who inspires you! (845) 481-3429

** Please: SUBSCRIBE to the pod and leave a REVIEW wherever you are listening, it helps other users FIND IT

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