Raed Rafei is a Lebanese filmmaker, researcher, and multimedia journalist, currently pursuing a PhD in film and digital media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. It was a joy to have Raed back on the podcast after meeting him at the exhibit Mark for Redaction 3(!) years ago!
We discussed Raed’s academic research on queer Lebanese filmmakers, focusing on perspectives that go beyond frameworks of identity politics and individual rights, and see queer communities at the forefront of broader political change.
We also talked about his first feature film “The Reconstitution of a Struggle” about the 1974 student occupation of the American University of Beirut, and his docu-fiction approach creates a dialogue between past and present. He also describes one of his current projects exploring his native Tripoli from a queer lens, investigating popular ideas of “the natural,” and identifying the beauty in failure.
We also discuss transitioning into the arts after more “practical” career plans, being away from home during the pandemic period, and more.