Deeyah Khan is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning and two times BAFTA nominated documentary film director, and founder of Fuuse, a media and arts company that puts women, people from minorities, and third-culture kids at the heart of telling their own stories. In 2016, she became the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity.
Born in Norway to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi ancestry, Deeyah’s experience of living between different cultures, both the beauty and the challenges, shapes her artistic vision. Her 2012 multi-award winning documentary Banaz: A Love Story chronicles the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman murdered by her family in a so-called honour killing. Deeyah’s second film, the Grierson and Bafta award-nominated Jihad, involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis. White Right: Meeting the Enemy was also Bafta-nominated and saw Deeyah travel to the United States where she shadowed neo-Nazis, including attending the now-infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. One of Fuuse’s recent initiatives, born of Deeyah’s own experiences, is sister-hood, a digital magazine and a series of live events spotlighting the voices of women of Muslim heritage. Deeyah has also produced a number of critically acclaimed albums, including Listen to the Banned, a compilation that brought together musicians from around the world who have been subject to persecution, censorship and imprisonment.
The focus of Deeyah’s work and access to voices that are often overlooked and misunderstood has led to increasing demand as a speaker at international human rights events and platforms including the United Nations. She has also received many honours for her work supporting freedom of expression, human rights and peace including an honorary doctorate degree from Emerson College in Boston, the University of Oslo’s Human Rights Award and the Peer Gynt Prize from the Parliament of Norway.