Artist Statement

How is the City your studio? "The City is constantly telling you stories about itself and the people who live in it, that is, if you're willing to listen and pay attention. Because I am inspired to write what I know and to write truths I see, I'm inspired by the things that happen when I walk to the train or wait for the bus. I'm inspired by my friends and family. I'm inspired by struggle and overcoming struggle. I'm inspired by kindness and goodness. I'm inspired by a city like Chicago that comes together to survive the winter and unleashes during the summer. I'm inspired by experiencing life in the space I live in. I also love to write for spaces and locations I know and am familiar with. So if I have spent time in a certain coffee shop, or museum, or bookstore, or home, that inspires me to set a story within that space."

Featured Artist Portrait by Joe Mazza | Brave Lux Chicago

I am an artist, writer, producer and an activist. Everything I do is about finding connections with other people through stories and comedy, about breaking stereotypes, about breaking the idea of the “model-minority” across my spectrum of identities: Muslim, South Asian, female, queer. In other words, I don't portray or create characters who must be perfect human beings at all times in order to appease the majority or the white hetero-normative male gaze; rather, I purposely choose to portray characters who are minorities who also happen to be complex, flawed, real. I believe the intersectionality of my identities is the inspiration, the drive, the life-force behind my art.
Life inspires me. I'm inspired by the people around me, my family, my friends, the things people actually say and do to each other. I also love to make people laugh. Humor is a great way to disarm people, to engage in conversations about divisive topics.
What's Next?
My short film, "The First Session," which I wrote and star in, is touring the festival circuit. I created two short documentaries, one of which, "Reclaiming Pakistan, is in the festival circuit and another is in post production. I have two Chicago-based narrative films at different stages of the creative process, "Spunkle," a comedic short film, is in post production and, "Signature Move", a feature film, is in pre-production. I'm performing my one-person play, "Me, My Mom & Sharmila" at festivals and universities, including the Chicago South Asian Film Festival. My short play, "The Noor," world premieres as part of The Inconvenience theatre's anthology of new works, "Citizens."
Fawzia Mirza is an actor, writer, producer and activist and was recently named one of Indiewire magazine's "Top 10 Creatives". She has performed theatre on a myriad Chicago stages including The Goodman, Silk Road, About Face, 16th Street Theatre, Mixed Blood, Rasaka Theatre. Her own one-person play, "Me, My Mom and Sharmila", recently toured to pakistan on a 3-city tour. She's written several web series including "Kam Kardashian" about the long lost lesbian Kardashian sister and "Brown Girl Problems". Her recent short film, "The First Session" was a semi-finalist in the NBC Short Film Festival and is currently touring the festival circuit. Her first short story will be published in 2016 in an anthology about South Asian women and their mothers and she is currently in pre-production on her first feature that she co-wrote and stars in, set to shoot in Chicago in 2016.