What Do the Women Say? 2021

Celebrating 25 Years of Centering Women Artists

What Do the Women Say? 2021

The first event in our 25th Anniversary Season is our first digital rendition of What Do the Women Say? Celebrating 25 Years of Centering Women Artists! Golden Thread began producing a Women’s Day event in 1999 titled, From the Inside. The event was a multi-media performance involving eight women artists including performers and visual artists.

This year, we are speaking about Golden Thread’s legacy and impact with artists whose experience with Golden Thread ranges from one year to more than twenty years. What has Golden Thread’s impact been on these artists’ career? What is their hope for Golden Thread’s next 25 years?

March 8, 2021

Featuring Torange Yeghiazarian and Nora El Samahy; confirmed guest artists include Sofia Ahmad, Lana Nasser, Sara Razavi, Naima Shalhoub, Sedef Ecer, among others.

This year’s program features Board president and resident artist, Nora El Samahy in conversation with founding artistic director, Torange Yeghiazarian on a journey highlighting Golden Thread’s 25-year history of placing Middle Eastern women artists center stage. Guest artists join Nora and Torange to reflect on the role Golden Thread has played in their artistic trajectory and their hopes for the future, including Sofia Ahmad, Lana Nasser, Sara Razavi, Naima Shalhoub, Sedef Ecer, among others. This year’s program also highlighted the International Women’s Day organization’s theme of #ChoosetoChallenge and asked each of our featured artists what they planned to challenge this year!

A highly anticipate annual offering, Golden Thread Productions celebrates International Women’s Day with What Do the Women Say?, which showcases the work of leading Middle Eastern women artists. Previous programs have focused on dismantling patriarchy, the resilience of Syrian women who build community through their art, and artists who explore sex and sexuality.

Past featured artists include Elmaz Abinader (This House, My Bones), Majeda Al Saqqa (Culture and Free Thought Association, Gaza Strip), Anita Amirrezvani (The Blood of Flowers, Equal to the Sun), Nawal el Saadawi (Memoirs from the Women’s Prison), Denmo Ibrahim (Baba, ECSTASY | a waterfable), Maryam Keshavarz (Circumstance), Rohiha Malek (Unveiled), Nabila Mango (executive director, Zawaya), Ayesha Mattau (Love Inshallah), Zahra Noorbakhsh (All Atheists are Muslim, #GoodMuslimBadMuslim), Shahrnush Parsipur (The Prison Memoirs, Women Without Men), Betty Shamieh (The Black Eyed, Territories), Deema Shehabi (Thirteen Departures From the Moon), Seema Sueko (Remains), and Rosemary Toohey (The Body Washer), and Dina Zarif.

Featured Guest Artists

Sara Razavi

Iranian American Sara Razavi first approached Golden Thread with a proposal to build an Education program. Since then, she has performed in several ReOrient Festivals, directed a few short plays, and served on Golden Thread’s Board of Trustees when she contributed to developing the company’s five-year strategic plan.

Yasmine Diaz

Yemeni American Yasmine Diaz is a visual artist based in LA and was a featured artist in WDWS 2018. She is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice weaves between culture, class, gender, religion, and family. She uses mixed media collage, immersive installation, fiber etching, and video to juxtapose discordant cultural references and to explore the connections between personal experience and larger social and political structures.

Lana Nasser

Jordanian American and currently living in Holland, award-winning playwright Lana Nasser was among the first women to perform in WDWS consistently. Long-time Golden Thread audiences may recall Lana’s mystical dream-infused belly dancing! A multi-disciplinary artist, Lana has creative and academic publications in three different languages! She holds degrees in Psychology (BA) and Consciousness Studies (MA), with a focus on dreams.

Naima Shalhoub

Lebanese American Naima Shalhoub first collaborated with Golden Thread on The Fifth String, an original play with live music about the life of 9th-century trailblazer, Ziryab. She next performed selections from Isfahn Blues at our 20th anniversary gala concert and was a featured artist in WDWS 2018. A vocalist, composer, performing artist, and educator based in the Bay Area, her multidimensional work explores the borderlands of belonging, remembrance, liberation, and the expansive quality of the voice - its power for healing and energizing social justice movements.

Sofia Ahmad

Pakistani American Sofia Ahmad first collaborated with Golden Thread on the anti-war musical, Love Missile in 2005. She returned ten years later to perform in Isfahan Blues, followed by The Most Dangerous Highway in the World and On the Periphery.

Sedef Ecer

Turkish French Sedef Ecer worked with Golden Thread on the US premiere of a new English translation of her play On the Periphery in 2020. Born in Istanbul, she is a novelist, playwright and screenwriter in both Turkish and French. Her plays are performed in numerous theaters and festivals in different countries, published, awarded and translated into Polish, Turkish, Armenian, German, Greek, English, Persian, Italian etc.

Moderated By:

Torange Yeghiazarian

Executive Artistic Director

→ Bio

Nora el Samahy

Board President/Resident Artist

→ Bio

• • •

We are grateful for the support of the following institutions:


Golden Thread Productions

1695 18th Street, #C101
San Francisco, CA 94107
The ancestral lands of the Ramaytush Ohlone

Phone: 415.626.4061


Golden Thread Productions © 2015 - 2020
All Rights Reserved | Privacy Notice