Safwat Saleem: Why I keep speaking up, even when people mock my accent
Safwat Saleem - Artist, graphic designer, filmmaker
Safwat Saleem uses satire and art to bring to light stories of adversity. Full bio
eye contact with anyone.
in the room begin to turn toward me
"Have you forgotten your name?"
I want to respond, but I don't.
for all kinds of characters.
is Frankenstein's monster.
(SS's voice): (Grunts)
a lot for that one.
I made this educational video
the voice of Space Invader.
I look forward to the next one.
of a two-part video.
on the second one next.
WHEREEEEE? I need it NOWWWWW!: P
were saying nice things about me,
is annoying. No offense.
without peanut butter in your mouth?
is somewhat constructive. Hit "refresh."
this narrator again
because of the Indian accent.
have a Pakistani accent.
on the second part of the video.
back to my childhood,
as I can remember.
when he had a question --
so I would not have to answer it.
would say I'm not around.
and there was usually someone who'd go,
feeling that if I spoke,
that there was something wrong with me,
be able to use my voice in my work
each sentence many, many times,
where I think I suck the least.
is like Photoshop for your voice.
make it deeper, add an echo.
and if I stutter along the way,
voice in my work
to finally sound normal to myself.
using my voice in my work.
about what it means to be normal.
very few colors in his writing.
is described as wine red,
and sheep are purple.
of the ancient literature --
for why that might be the case
to recognize a color
to make that color.
for many cultures to make --
fairly early on.
which was much harder to make --
how to make that color
until much later as well.
a color might be all around them,
the ability to see it.
put my own experience into context.
the comments on the video,
all very personally.
for a narrator to have an accent.
more spelling errors in your writing
to help female or minority students.
with white-sounding names
with black-sounding names.
of what is normal.
does not succeed.
is a better hire than a black employee.
that discrimination of this kind,
to help people that you can relate to
that you can't relate to.
starts at a very early age.
collection every year,
only about 11 percent of the books
that number was about eight percent,
today come from a minority background.
that they can be anything,
that children of color consume
don't get to realize
they are similar to minorities --
for Ancient Greeks,
of what we consider normal,
of what we've been exposed to,
get a bit difficult.
of normal -- that normal is good,
narrow definition of normal is bad.
that preexisting notion of normal
and would rather be in the bathroom.
I'm now slowly starting to use my voice
people say that I talk
butter in my mouth.
a much better understanding
one day and realize
to realize what we had been ignoring
our notion of normal,
to allow us as a society
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
About the speaker:Safwat Saleem - Artist, graphic designer, filmmaker
Safwat Saleem uses satire and art to bring to light stories of adversity.
Why you should listen
Safwat Saleem is a Pakistani-American visual artist, graphic designer and filmmaker. He's best known for making politically-charged satirical art. Safwat's artwork has used a variety of media, including illustration, writing, animation, audio, film and sculpture. He often combines several media to create multimedia storytelling experiences that get his audiences talking -- and laughing -- about subjects that tend to otherwise make people feel uncomfortable. Saleem is also the founder of Bandbaja, a Pakistani music magazine that promoted the use of modern popular music as a socio-political tool.
Saleem has a penchant for doing voiceovers in his films for all kinds of silly characters like a bear, sheep, greeting card and a whale to name a few. His work is shown regularly in galleries around the U.S. and has been featured in publications such as Wired, BoingBoing and Brainpickings. Safwat is a TED Senior Fellow and he likes pizza (like, a lot).
Safwat Saleem | Speaker | TED.com