About This Research

Title of Project:

Muslim Female YouTubers Speak Back: A Participatory Video Project


Dr. Diane Watt, Postdoctoral Scholar

Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

September 2013 to September 2015

Research Collaborators:

Fartousa Siyad, Kayf Abdulqadir & Hodan Hujaleh (Specs & Veil Productions)

Research Questions:

This two-part qualitative study is guided by three main research questions:

1. What are some of the complexities of being Muslim and female in post-9/11 Canada?

2. How do we challenge assumptions about ourselves and others inside and outside of educational contexts?

3. What are the challenges and possibilities of digital media production for social justice with/by youth from marginalized communities? Specifically, how might the DIY media making practices of 3 Somali-Canadian Muslim female youth YouTubers inform education, policy, and research for social justice in the digital age?

Research collaborators – Kayf, Fartousa, Hodan – and I are in the process of producing three primary research texts.

 Text Audience(s) Dissemination
1. Documentary    Educators, Youth,     Community Screenings & online sharing on our project website
2. Collaborative visual ethnography     Academic Book; articles (academic & practitioner); mainstream media interviews
3. Project website; Twitter; YouTube Educators,             Youth,        Researchers Digital (documentary); YouTube videos; viewing guides for videos; pedagogic guide for our documentary; video clips of Kayf, Far, Hodan, Diane; resources & links.

1) The documentary film is intended for youth, teacher, and community audiences. Our video tells the story of my reseach collaborators’ experiences and sense of identity as Somali-Canadian Muslim, female, YouTubers. Their ground-breaking videos use humour to disrupt stereotypes often associated with Somalis and with Muslim females. Their work has a global following and has received international recognition.

2) The second text is a collaborative visual ethnography documenting the process of participatory video with youth from  marginalized communities from new literacies, critical youth studies, curriculum, and feminist postcolonial perspectives.

3) The third text is our project website and associated social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Syed & Girls at PaleyHodan & Kayf July 4, 2014 St. Laurent 2014-07-04 at 9.27.17 PMHodan July 4, 2014 St. Laurent 2014-07-04 at 9.25.37 PMJune 13 brainstorm content st. laurent taken by Hodan Kayf directing copyspecs and veil working copyDiane and Hodan at Kayf'sUN TV shootIMG_5557

Abo Farah Screen shotCASWE with Specs VeilKayf photo beyond sound byte panel Dec 4, 2012

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