Barni Axmed Qaasim
I am a storyteller and filmmaker who creates art to envision a just and sustainable world. I work with communities to document movements for social justice, train members to use media tools and create media strategies to win campaigns. My work is rooted in the philosophy that those most impacted by injustice are the most qualified to tell their own stories. I focus on capturing images and sounds that evoke emotion and build connections between people, because art can bring people together in a way that politics cannot.
- Media Campaign
- Music Video
A Little Rebirth
Faces of Garfield
“I was ready for a film about midwives and mothers, but Catching Babies surprised me in its utter beauty and thoughtfulness.”
-Sarah Tarver-Wahlquist, SQUAT Birth Journal
“We are healing ourselves from the trauma of family separation by making videos to help other families fight deportations.”
Jennifer Hernandez, founding member of Puente Visión, a youth media collective that is using media to fight deportation cases in their community. I was honored to be their mentor for their first year.
Barni is a partner at devlabs, an incubator supporting tech start ups in North and South America and the Caribbean. She heads up the storytelling and communications for multiple software companies. Barni was a member and later the Director of Production for Third World Majority, a women of color media collective based in Oakland, California from 2004 until they closed in 2009. Barni created media for immigrant rights campaigns at Puente Arizona and Not1More from 2010 – 2015. Barni taught video skills to the youth at SNAG Magazine a Native American youth arts magazine from 2008 until 2012. She is currently a board member of the Somali Association of Arizona and has been a member, contributing graphic design, photography and video skills, since 2006.
Barni is collaborating with Sara MacPherson of Equipoise Films on a new feature length documentary, “The Gathering,” about a substance abuse support group in San Francisco’s Bay View Hunter’s Point neighborhood. Barni directed Catching Babies, awarded “Excellence in Documenting Women’s Health,” from Puente a la Salud in 2013, and screened at the Midwives Alliance of North America Conference, Black Midwives Conference, University of Illinois at Chicago’s African American Cultural Center, the Chagrin Falls Documentary Film Festival and the White Sands International Film Festival. Barni is Associate Producer for Under Arpaio, a documentary film and winner of the “2012 Best of Arizona” at the Arizona International Film Festival; the film was selected for the Sundance Institute’s Creative Change Artists’ Retreat. Barni was an Assistant Editor for the documentary, Into the Current, which was selected for the Lucerne International Film Festival and One World International Human Rights Film Festival. Barni directed A Little Rebirth which won an award for “Giving Somali Refugees A Voice,” by the Somali Association of Arizona and is regularly aired on PHXTV and Know99 television stations in the Phoenix Area.
Barni curated the 2015 Numbi Arts International Film Festival taking place on three continents in Atlanta, London and Hargeisa. In 2014 Barni was chosen to attend Storytelling Somalia, an artist retreat of Somali artists from across the globe, hosted by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, The Radical Middle Way and the Institute of Narrative Growth. In 2013 Barni was chosen to attend the first La Escuelita hosted by the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. In 2013 she was awarded the “People’s Media Award” by Puente Arizona. Barni holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Interdisciplinary Arts and a Masters of Arts in Broadcasting.