Having heard much about Take One Action, I had still yet to attend this film festival which has always intrigued me. It has empowering and questioning as it’s two core visions. Stepping into the Scottish Youth Theatre building in Glasgow, I had no more to expect but to witness precisely that, and I was certainly not disappointed with the screening of Swedish documentary, Silvana, which documents the LGBT activist and rapper, Silvana Imam.
The event itself began with a moment of silence for a mere thirty seconds to allow us to understand the feeling of being silenced. Raw and uncompromising we have a clearer idea of what to expect from this documentary, which explores from a contemporary angle, being a lesbian in Sweden, where there are very few women rappers. Silvana is a rapper who loves women and as such is a taboo within Swedish society but one who challenges the gender stereotypes propagated by religious institutions and the media alike. Her performances and celebrity relationship with Beatrice Eli were obviously deemed by some to be contentious and did more than ruffle some feathers in this inspiring piece of film work.
“Let’s smash the patriarchy!” Silvana shouts through a megaphone, and hundreds of hands shoot into the air, as she is clearly a leader in the community. But she is not only talking about sexuality, racism is often brought to the forefront of this documentary with her background (her father is from Syria, her mother from Lithuania), as she clearly feels like an outsider in this country, and through this trailblazing action and her empowering relationship, she gains unity.
This documentary, directed by three females has a vocal strength that is impossible to avoid, and assisted with the performances from local and international poets and musicians, lays the foundations of unyielding notions on racist and patriarchal arguments. Followed by Erin Friel, Heir of the Cursed and Leyla Josephine as well as others, there is a multimedia aspect to this event, one which adds textural layering, and reinforces the voice running through this film.
A truly thought-provoking event hosted by Take One Action’s Executive Director, Tamara Van Strijthem.