Hackney resident sets up project to challenge stereotypes of British Pakistanis

13:00 29 December 2013

Shazia Ali-Webber (red top) and pupils from the three sixth form colleges who took part in a project to challenge stereotypes of British Pakistanis

Shazia Ali-Webber (red top) and pupils from the three sixth form colleges who took part in a project to challenge stereotypes of British Pakistanis


» Often referred to as a failed state on the brink of collapse and a breeding ground for terrorists, Pakistan does not enjoy the good reputation that neighbour India has, despite similar food and culture.

Here in the UK, the Pakistani diaspora regularly comes under attack from some politicians and parts of the media.

It is for this reason that Hackney resident Shazia Ali-Webber set up a pilot project asking sixth form students of Pakistani origin to make short films about their lives.

The result was seven short films which were screened at the Rich Mix centre in Shoreditch last month.

Lawyer Mrs Ali-Webber, 38, of Sharon Gardens, Victoria Park, said: “There’s so much negative media coverage of Pakistan and Pakistanis.


“I set up the project as I thought young Pakistanis should be given a right of reply.

“They produced 10-minute films about being ordinary British Pakistanis.

“There’s no crisis of identity among British Pakistanis. They are very proud and confident in their dual heritage. It was very eye-opening.”

Her project was inspired by a similar one run by the Royal Society of Arts and online magazine The Samosa in 2011.

The Pakistan Calling project aimed to increase awareness and support for Pakistani civil society organisations, and activists, working to tackle the country’s social problems.

“I got involved in Pakistan Calling and thought it would be good to do something with British Pakistanis talking about their ordinary lives”, Mrs Ali-Webber said.

“I invited three sixth form colleges from Luton, Leyton and Newham to take part.

“It’s a good age as they understand politics a bit better. Most of them were media students.”


Mrs Ali-Webber will roll out the project nationally with a film screening at the same time next year.

She said: “Generationally things have changed.

“It would be wonderful to create an archive of films of how this generation is feeling and that would create a record of heritage and how identity in immigrants changes and evolves.”


Latest News Stories

Hatzola was at the scene of the crime

A motorcyclist might not walk for at least a year after suffering a major leg injury, in what police are treating as a hit and run accident.

Vaso Kakko

Detectives investigating the murder of 17-year-old Vaso Kakko in Holloway made an arrest yesterday.

Yesterday, 17:33
Police believe these two men could help with investigations

Police have released images of two men they would like to speak to as part of an investigation into a sexual assault in Old Street.

Yesterday, 14:40
Sarah Akulo

Police have launched an appeal to help trace a woman who has not been seen by her family for nearly three months.

Yesterday, 14:30
Police tape

Two people were arrested in Dalston suspected of playing a role in a people-smuggling ring bringing Albanians into the country.

Yesterday, 11:53
Barrie Stradling at Headway East London's brain recovery centre, ready for charity's dance marathon

Soul artist Barrie Stradling had to learn to sing again after a hit-and-run road incident nine years ago.

But now the 57-year-old who has been volunteering with Headway East London brain injury centre is to perform at the charity’s annual eight-hour dance marathon.

Yesterday, 08:54
Police are appealing for information

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and information after a woman was allegedly attacked in Stoke Newington.

Friday, November 27, 2015
John Hegley, photo PA images

Famously eccentric comic poet John Hegley is putting on a show to raise money for a ‘hole-y’ church roof.

Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Hackney Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder