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REDEFINING is a new series from Samuel Douek for INTO Magazine that profiles interesting individuals and collectives of organizations who are breaking down cultural, political, and social stereotypes, and redefining the labels that society has branded them with.

These are people making a difference to their local communities and causing a global impact.

Meet best friends and filmmaking collaborators Afek Launer and Zohar Melinek Ezra, who are redefining the perceptions of Gender Identity in the Middle East

In the isolation of a dreary Canadian Winter, Afek and Zohar were introduced by a mutual friend and instantly hit it off, bonding over the fact that they were both from Israel and they both missed their country. But more than just a burgeoning friendship, this was to be the start of an important collaboration that would bring together their filmmaking talents to create Spectrums.

Spectrums is a new web series profiling the social, political, and spiritual work of 10 members of the transgender community in the Middle East. The ambition was to give a voice to a diverse group of people irrespective of class, religion, race or geography and to bring forth their personal stories in an attempt to start a dialogue about the spectrum of gender identity in Israel.

Since its release, it has gained significant traction locally and appears to be the beginning of what Zohar terms a “New Gender Movement” in the country. INTO met up with them to hear about the brainchildren behind this worthwhile project, asking them what inspired them to approach the subject in the first place.

Check out our the second episode in our new series REDEFINING as well as their web series SPECTRUMS


Samuel Douek
Samuel Douek is a British architect turned filmmaker who uses documentary, art and narrative film to explore the intersections of queer identity politics and the built environment.