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Azra Rashid

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, The University of Sydney

2016 – PhD, Department of Communication Studies, Concordia University

Azra Rashid is a filmmaker and postdoctoral research fellow in the department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. With research-creation as her methodology, Azra’s research is focused on testimony, translation, and representations of gender in the existing discourses of the Cambodian genocide. Her book, “Gender, Nationalism and Genocide in Bangladesh: Naristhan/Ladyland,” published in November 2017 by Routledge, investigates selective remembering of women’s experiences in the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh and offers a counter-narrative that emphasizes a gendered reading of that genocide. Azra’s films are focused on women’s rights issues and they have been screened at national and international film festivals and broadcast at the CBC. 

Gender, Nationalism, and Genocide in Bangladesh:

A Woman’s Place (2018): Documentary about food crisis during genocide and women survivors of genocide who have opened small businesses and restaurants post-genocide. It features portraits of three women entrepreneurs: Inez – a Nuxalk woman from Canada, Ange – a Tutsi woman from Rwanda, and Yim Nimola – a survivor from the Cambodian genocide. Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, premiered at Festival Internacional DOCA Documentalistas de Argentina 2018; screened at the Cambodian International Film Festival 2019; and the Women’s Art Festival: Immigrant, Refugee, and Racialized Women 2019. Trailer:

Naristhan/Ladyland (2016): Part of doctoral research, the film looks at multiplicity of women’s experiences in genocide. The essay film foregrounds the researcher/filmmaker’s subjectivity in talking about the 1971 war in Bangladesh and features stories of four women who experienced the war from four different vantage points.

A Woman’s Story (2015): Filmed in Poland, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Canada, the documentary looks at women and genocide, focusing on the Holocaust, the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh, and the genocide in Rwanda. The film documents the stories of survival and resilience of women and deals with important issues such as gender identity and war. Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, aired on the CBC’s Documentary Channel in 2015; screened at various film festivals including the Oakville Festivals of Film and Art 2015 where the documentary received the Audience Choice Award, Cambodia International Film Festival 2015, International Peace and Film Festival 2015, and WorldFest Houston 2016 where it won the prestigious Special Jury Award. Trailer:

Unveiling the Abuse (2010): Documentary about forced marriages in Canada and whether Canada’s multicultural policies render women vulnerable to abuse at the hands of family in the name of culture and tradition. Documentary on International Women’s Day 2011, and it has become a part of the ESL curriculum by the Toronto District School Board Trailer:

Dishonour Defied (2007): Feature length documentary, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, and Seneca College, on rape and status of women in Pakistan. Documentary pre-sold to two broadcasters, I Channel and Channel M, and distributed by VTape; showcased at the Calgary International Film Festival 2007, the Guelph Festival of Moving Media 2007, and it won a Silver Remi Award at Houston WorldFest. Excerpt: