About this project
WE'RE GOING FOR 500 PLEDGES AND $20,000!!!
The additional money will allow us to
- translate and subtitle the film in Bangla, Hindi, Tamil and Spanish
- support Andolan members and other domestic workers in crisis situations who need help with temporary housing, legal fees or other assistance
THE MORE WE GET THE MORE WE CAN GIVE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!!
Claiming Our Voice is a short documentary film by Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel sharing the stories of Andolan, a Queens-based workers center founded and led by female South Asian immigrant domestic workers as a means to support each other and collectively organize against exploitative work conditions. The film follows the women as they create a multilingual theatre performance with the hopes of preventing further injustice in their communities. Claiming Our Voice breaks community silence by allowing women to (literally) set the stage for how their stories will be told.
Domestic work includes childcare, cleaning and cooking and takes place in the home. The majority of domestic workers are female, foreign born and persons of color. Claiming Our Voice’s main characters work in this industry, one prone to low wages, long hours, no benefits, and extreme isolation. While the issue of domestic work has received increased attention, we rarely hear from domestic workers themselves. Through the course of the film, our characters are revealed as their own heroines - challenging stereotypical images of immigrants and low-wage workers as well as notions of culture, race, gender, and class.
The hard-earned money you pledge will go towards the completion of this film so we can get it ready for release. Check our website to see the bios of our amazing team!
- Post-Production Costs such as Editing, Sound Mixing, Color Correction (Amanda Hughes, Steve Perski, Begona Colomar)
- Musical Score for the film (Arooj Aftab and Joshua Valleau)
- Developing a High School and University level Curriculum (Dr. Monisha Bajaj and Promiti Islam from Columbia University)
- Developing and Printing Publicity Materials (Valerie Caesar and Christine Wong Yap)
REMEMBER, KICKSTARTER IS ALL OR NOTHING
If we don't make our goal, we don't keep any of the money. So even if you can't pledge, please share this project with your friends, family and colleagues. Post about us on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. If we exceed our goal, we'll be able to give money back to members of Andolan to assist with their ongoing support of domestic workers at risk in the NYC area including expenses such as housing and legal costs.
This film and the theatre project it documents has been a labor of love from the start. We thank Brooklyn Arts Council for their support of the film as well as Asian Women Giving Circle, Poets & Writers, The Puffin Foundation, The Culture Project's Women Center Stage Festival and Queens Council on the Arts for their support of the original theatre project.
I am grateful for the team who have brought the project this far including the members of Andolan who trusted me with their stories; Chitra Aiyar, YaliniDream, Monisha Bajaj, Promiti Islam and Nisha Varia for their expertise, ideas and support; Amanda Hughes and Steve Perski for their hard work in the edit room, Valerie Caesar and Christine Wong Yap for their design skills, Radcliffe Roye for lending gear and Anderson Zaca for shooting the Kickstarter video.
Thank you for your support!!
Jen, Chitra, YaliniDream and the COV Team!
Risks and challenges
Once the film and curriculum are complete, we have to navigate general distribution and educational distribution. Given the dearth of visual materials about domestic workers, I think this film can live a long, productive life in the classroom and beyond - the question is finding the right distributors who can help me get it into the hands of the right people.
Another challenge is having the film reach domestic workers - especially those who are offline. We are already planning to do community screenings in conjunction with domestic workers organizations but strategies to reach people beyond those groups and across multiple languages is something we are currently working on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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