Pillarfund, an organisation amplifying leadership and creative talent in the US, has launched an Artist Database.
This will give Muslim creatives a chance to find opportunities to work with like-minded artists & producers. It also gives established artists a chance to recruit and work with upcoming talent.
The database includes profiles for actors, directors, cinematographers, and sound technicians. Amongst them are other Muslim professionals working below and above the line in the filmmaking industry in the U.S.
A recent study showed that on-screen Muslim representation is approximately 1%.
If this statistic isn’t shocking enough, a large portion of this representation has perpetuated negative stereotypes. These have had harrowing consequences on the Muslim community.
It has contributed to the feeling of ‘the other’, the flip side being the tropes of ‘the good immigrant.’
There is not a lack of creative Muslims out there.
What is lacking are the roles created for Muslims. Often time Muslims are cast to play foreigners, terrorists, or people entrapped in a web of their own faith.
In fact, the latest Pillarfund research highlighted that out of 200 popular episodic series, 8% of represented Muslims on screen were often linked to violence.
‘Over 30% of the 98 Muslim characters evaluated were perpetrators of violence while nearly 40% were targets of violent attacks.’
‘Popular series not only linked Muslims to violence, they often tied Muslims to “foreign” locations through story settings and language. Nearly two-thirds of Muslim characters were native speakers of a non-English language.’
More Muslims need to be present in creating our own stories. This change begins through Muslim producers, writers and cinematographers.
Whilst this database is only available in the US, let’s hope that a UK initiative can be launched soon.