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Razi Jafri

Graduate Student, MFA Program

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Photograph of Razi Jafri

Biography

Curriculum Vitae
  • BS Man­u­fac­tur­ing Engi­neer­ing, Uni­ver­sity of Michigan-Dearborn

Razi Jafri is a community activist and documentary photographer and filmmaker whose work focuses on race, religion, immigration, and the evolving cultural mores in America. His work is informed by his own experiences as an immigrant and a Muslim. Originally from northern India, he migrated to the United States as a child and grew up in Detroit. An artist/activist at heart, in early 2015 he left a long career as an engineer to pursue more personally and professionally meaningful work. Since that time, he completed his first film, Hamtramck, USA, exploring democracy in America’s first Muslim majority city. The film was selected for a premier at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in 2020. As a photographer, he has been part of a team organizing a multi-year group exhibition series entitled Halal Metropolis. Launched in the summer of 2019, it examines Muslim visibility in southeast Michigan through the work of dozens of Muslim artists in the region. He is currently producing a long-term body of work that has been included in the series. The series is scheduled to conclude in the fall of 2021.

He has taken a direct cinema and verite approach to his filmmaking and cinematography work. At Stamps he hopes to build upon these approaches and explore different forms of storytelling through fictional and tableau photography, satire, humor, and mockumentaries.

His work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms, the Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF), the Doris Duke Foundation, and the Knight Foundation. Razi served as a mentor in Kartemquin Films Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) Fellowship. He has been awarded fellowships by Facing Change: Documenting Detroit, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), The Salzburg Global Forum, and the Knight Fellowship at the Sundance Film Festival. Razi is an alumnus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn where he received a bachelor's degree in engineering.