Published today on National Geographic’s PROOF blog, a film produced by Talking Eyes Media in partnership with Rutgers University-Newark and VII Photo Agency, Notes for My Homeland. Malek Jandali is no ordinary musician. The Syrian-American composer and pianist has performed in leading concert halls around the world and has also written a song so powerful that his parents were beaten in punishment for its performance.”

“I can’t think of a more stark example of how threatening art can be,” says Julie Winokur, who helped produce a new film about Jandali called Notes for My Homeland.

This film is the first professionally produced piece in a new storytelling project called “Newest Americans: Stories from the Global City,” which takes an in-depth look at immigration and the idea of American identity. The three-year collaboration between VII, Talking Eyes Media, and Rutgers University-Newark “is tasked with finding new stories that educate people about immigration.

“The professional journalists in the group will mentor students at Rutgers-Newark—the university with the most diverse student body in the nation—as they produce their own written and visual journalism. A selection of work will be presented on the website Newest Americans.”

Watch the film and learn more here »