The multimedia art of Rahima Rahi (she/he/they) functions as a continuous experiment with form, relationships, theory, and identity. Her work spans autobiography, collaborative social documentary, experimental video, installation, reflective/theoretical discourse, and text-based approaches. In her work, Rahi experiments with ways to effectively shift the power she holds as a filmmaker over to the community, while still offering participants the value of her creative and technical support. For Rahi, “the process is the reason for creation” of her autobiographical and biographical experimental art. When practiced in a state of heightened vulnerability, the rituals of production ignite the possibility of healing, liberation, and the reclamation of power.
Rahi is most passionate about working with youth-engaged documentary projects. One of her notable collaborative documentary work is Lakewood Standing Strong that depicts an anti-bullying club founded by students at Lakewood High School in Roseboro, NC. Her short documentary about Young Scholars Summer Research Institute highlights the voices of Durham Public High School students who learned how to conduct their own research for social change through this summer program. She is currently working as a video/film instructor with a group of students at the Governor Morehead High School for the Blind in Raleigh, NC. In her work she is curating and facilitating workshops to engage the students in creating their own creative story telling structures. She is also applying participatory filmmaking method to engage the students in producing their own short documentaries. One of the projects Rahi is currently working on is a video series in which she is collecting stories of young artists under the age of 15 who want to change the world through their passion for art.
Rahi has completed her Certificate in Documentary Arts in the continuing education program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS). Since moving to Durham from New York City in 2015, Rahi has produced and directed documentaries and provided videography support for numerous local social justice organizations, including the Durham Solidarity Center, the Inside-Outside Alliance, Durham For All, Jewish Voice for Peace-Triangle NC, and Southerners On New Ground. Rahi is a member of the Durham Artists Movement (DAM) and a co-creator of Art Asylum (a project DAM), a collective dedicated to “building creative pathways and reducing isolation among folks who struggle with mental health and addiction.” In her two and a half years as a Documentary Project Director and Video Editor at North Carolina State Parks, Rahi created official videos for each of the forty state parks in North Carolina.
Rahi is honored to be a recipient of the Lewis Hine Fellowship: “I’m is grateful for the opportunity to return to New York City and reunite with a place where I already have a sense of home. The Hine Fellowship’s support of collaborative documentary work creates a unique opportunity for artists to engage with communities in a genuine and creative way.”
Rahi is working with the Graham Windham Manhattanville Cornerstone Community Center.