Documentary about Democracy in Hamtramck looks to raise money

When Hamtramck elected the first Muslim-majority city council in the United States, right wing media outlets published predictable fear mongering pieces about how the city would become a bastion of Sharia law. 

Of course, that didn't come to pass. Instead, the melting pot that is Hamtramck produced a moving and fascinating display on the Democratic process in action. 

That's what the filmmakers of "Hamtramck, USA" sought to capture in their documentary about the city's 2017 election, which takes a look at the complexities of multiculturalism in this American town. 

"Story is an important one, especially in a time of deep Islamophobia and anti-immigration," says Razi Jafri, one of the filmmakers and a former fellow in the Documenting Detroit Photography Fellowship. "Here's a story about a town that's full of immigrants, both the 'right,' white kind and others from all over the world. It has created some tensions even here. But it's also a celebration."

The documentary, whose production is mostly completed, followed the mayoral candidates throughout their campaigns and features extensive interviews with Hamtramck residents. 

But the filmmakers need a little extra help to cross the finish line and are looking to raise $55,000 by Jan. 31. They've started a crowdfunding campaign on LaunchGood, a platform for raising money for Muslim-led or -centered projects. 

Proceeds from the campaign will go towards editing, marketing, and developing a curriculum around the film. 

Read more articles by Aaron Mondry.

Aaron Mondry is a Detroit-based freelance writer. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @AaronMondry.
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