Watch the Entire As A Mother Film Series.
I Dream As A Mother is the first episode in our As A Mother series, a collection of documentary short films featuring local Vancouver moms and their impact on our community.
I Dream As A Mother follows local Vancouver mom Aisha Kiani and their refusal to accept the limited range of books in their son Rakim’s school library. Aisha’s story highlights their family’s experience with systemic racism in the school community. The film depicts a mother’s determination to make an impact and create change by creating an online platform, I Dream Library.
Now Available As A Podcast
About Aisha Kiani
Aisha is a mother and a literary curator, DEI consultant and anti-racism educator. Their family’s experience of systemic racism and queerphobia in their school community was the inspiration that launched I Dream Library. Aisha’s work helps support a broad range of public interest stakeholders, including publishers, government, post-secondary and K-12 education, nonprofits and medium to large-sized organizations.
About I Dream Library
I Dream Library is making waves. The online platform is currently part of the Young Activists Reading Room at the Vancouver Art Gallery as part of the exhibition GROWING FREEDOM: The instructions of Yoko Ono and The art of John and Yoko.
At its core, I Dream Library connects students, caregivers, educators and organizations with intersectional 2SQTBIPOC literary selections, anti-racism / DEI training and teaching resources.
On Motherhood with Aisha Kiani
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned from motherhood?
That intersectional social justice is urgent. I believe that a kinder community is queer and trans-positive. It’s also anti-racist, feminist, accessible, and regenerative. Finally, it’s a community that challenges lateral violence and the systemic oppression of an imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy (bell hooks) and delivers restorative practices when justice is needed.
What is your legacy?
My legacy is currently being written. For now, it’s my son, equity pedagogy, and installations I design to achieve intersectional social justice and freedom for 2SQT+BIPOC people. I approach pedagogical design, curating and artworks with intentions of abolition, BIPOC collective liberation, and values of human freedom through decolonization. By applying these frameworks into public and post-secondary education, my hope is that it will create collective muscle memory for the kindness that impacts every aspect of our society.
For my legacy to exist, I must acknowledge the foundation I build upon. Many experiences I normalize daily were hard-won in colonial North America. These include my right to vote, go to university, wear pants, open a bank account, have a safe abortion, enjoy regular seating in a theatre or at a movie, walk in the front door of a restaurant or be served in a restaurant frequented by white customers, claim a relationship with a woman in public or marry a woman, teach in a university, get a divorce, voice a trans, gender fluid, or non-binary identity without legal persecution. Thank you to those queer, trans, and BIPOC ancestors who dared to dream, and they were brave enough, rebellious enough, and loved enough to take action.
What are the ways you take care of yourself while caring for so many others?
I don’t give up on my dreams and take time to be alone, have fun, travel, and run. SimI don’t give up on my dreams, I take time to be alone, I have fun, I travel, I run. I honour my feelings of exhaustion, sadness, anger, frustration to inform what boundaries have been ignored or crossed. I connect to my power, joy, and gratitude to maintain mental balance in hard moments. I keep a spiritual wellness practice and am unapologetically excited about the future.
I Dream As A Mother is the powerful story of one mother’s strength, determination and perseverance to take a stand against systemic racism in the current school system.
VancouverMom.ca’s As A Mother is a digital short film and podcast series partially funded by a Government of Canada Heritage grant which communities through arts and heritage. Finally, All episodes and podcasts are thoughtfully filmed and produced by Kahani Pictures.