|MIGRATIONS OF ISLAM|
|Crew: ||Producers: Salah Hassan, Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai - Cinematographer: Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai - Editor: Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai
A documentary on the representations of American-Muslim identity in popular culture post 9/11. Through cultural events like the performance of the theatrical Hijabi Monologues, and the musical Poetic Visions Tour, and the staged reading of playwright Wajahat Ali's Domestic Crusaders in Michigan, 'Migrations of Islam' foregrounds the response of the Muslims in America to both the media-driven Islamophobia and the conservative voices of the Muslims within the community. The narrative embeds these performances of popular artists within the larger community of mainly young students, who were at an young and impressionable age when they experienced the trauma of 9/11, as they respond to the contemporary discourses surrounding Muslim identity by being both an audience and performers in their own right.
Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai is a graduate from the Film and Television Institute of India, the prestigious film school in Pune, India. Currently he is an assistant professor at Michigan State University in the English and TISM (Telecommunications, Information Studies, and Media) departments. He is an accomplished filmmaker, whose documentaries include Thangam, The Indian National Army, Villu (The Bow) and Quagmire, and the recent Unfinished Journey: A City in Transition (2011) on the history of the Civil Rights Movement at St. Augustine, Florida, and Migrations of Islam (2013) on Islam and popular culture in the US. His research areas include the history, theory, and production of documentaries, and the specificity of Tamil cinema, and its complex relationship with Hollywood as well as popular Hindi films.