Ado Ato Foundation

A transmedia Series highlighting LGBTQ+ voices from the Middle East and North Africa.

Queer in a Time of Forced Migration, is an animated transmedia series that follows the stories of LGBTQ refugees from Egypt, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia across continents and cultures — from the 2011 Revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa region to the world today.

Throughout the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, filmmaker Tamara Shogaolu and Egyptian journalist Nada El-Kouny collected more than 60 oral histories from women, LGBTQ individuals, as well as ethnic and religious minorities. The hope for a new era of human rights stood out among queer voices. While homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, a post-Revolution backlash has forced many in the LGBTQ community from their homes. They risk discrimination, uncertainty, and even violence in the asylum process, hoping to live and love freely in foreign lands. These stories, with follow-up interviews conducted in Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway, form the basis of Shogaolu’s award-winning nonfiction transmedia series, Queer in a Time of Forced Migration.

Leveraging the intimate audio accounts, the series combines visceral animation with the latest new-media storytelling techniques. The film Half a Life premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in 2017 and has screened at more than 40 festivals worldwide. Another Dream, a virtual reality experience, screens at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. The series has partnered with institutions such as the Sundance New Frontier Lab, the Stimuleringsfonds/Dutch Creative Industries, Harvard Law School, and Yale University.

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