Illuminating Untold Stories Through Film
Mara Ahmed is a multimedia artist and activist filmmaker whose work breaks boundaries, shifts assumptions, and inspires dialogue.
Mara was born in Pakistan and grew up in Belgium. She moved to the United States in 1993 and began a career in finance. She resigned from her corporate job in 2004 to follow her passion for the arts. Many things changed in America in the aftermath of 9/11, including the socio-political climate and attitude toward people from the Middle East and South Asia, particularly those who practice Islam. For Mara, a Pakistani American Muslim, it was frustrating to constantly hear about her culture on the news while seeing voices like hers actively excluded from the conversation.
Through her art, she hoped to change that. Mara attended Nazareth College and took classes at the Visual Studies Workshop and RIT as she worked on her first film, The Muslims I Know. It opened to a full house at the Dryden Theatre in 2008. Mara has been working as an independent filmmaker since then, engaging international audiences on subjects as diverse as the partition of India and racism in contemporary America. Her documentaries focus on personal narratives invisibilized by mainstream media.
Discover over 200 inspiring, diverse local Changemakers by visiting our exhibit, opening November 20, 2020.