SoCal filmmaker and creator of “Warring Factions,” Justin Mashouf, talks to Al-Talib about his latest work on the freedom movements in the Middle East. “Spring Movements” was released today and in Mashouf’s words, is “an ode to movements striving to reclaim their dignity and sovereignty from their keepers.” Check out his other works at MASHOUF.tv.
A-T: What inspired you to cover the movements in the Middle East in the way that you did?
Mashouf: It’s hard to not be inspired by the movements that are happening in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly Tunisia and Egypt. They accomplished something that has not only impacted their own futures but inspired everyone in the region to do the same for themselves.
A-T: Other than paying homage to the movements, what do you want people to get from watching this video?
Mashouf: I want people to walk away from seeing it wanting to contribute to these movements in their own way. As an artist and a dancer, “Spring Movements” is my most sincere expression of solidarity with the people.
Everyone can help the cause of freedom, even if it is on a small level and to not let our attention span for the people be defined by mainstream media coverage. There is a lot of work to be done in these countries and the least we can do is follow up and contribute.
A-T: How does dance add to the message you’re trying to send out? What was the meaning behind it in “Spring Movements”?
Mashouf: If I was a baker, I would bake bread for the people marching. Movement and dance is universal, I don’t need to speak Arabic to connect with Egyptians through dance and they don’t need to speak English for me to understand what they’re going through.
Just as some people for the past 30 years in the Middle East and North Africa have seen people’s movements as a futile dance against unbeatable odds, I wanted “Spring Movements” to be a comment on the fact that anything is possible.