FILM: Rising Silence

birangona strip

Making Herstory is proud to be working in partnership with the Komola Collective and OpenVizor to produce RISING SILENCE: a ground-breaking docu-film highlighting the impact of SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT as borne by survivors of the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence.

Birangona means “Brave Woman”. It was a term forged as a mark of respect for the 200,000 – 400,000 women and girls estimated to have beem systematically raped and tortured by the opposing army of Pakistan and their local collaborators during the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence.

But following the end of the war, these survivors were not only ignored by the international community, they were silenced by their own. Having suffered rape, torture and enforced pregnancies and abortions, many returned to their villages and homes, only to be made outcasts for the “shame” of having been raped.

To this day, thousands of Birangona women continue to live in abject poverty, suffering isolation, ongoing abuse and mental illnesses.



Activist, Leesa Gazi

Leesa ted talkx playIn 2011, actress and playwright Leesa Gazi co-wrote and starred in the ground-breaking play, Birangona: Women of Wara show that inspired Making Herstory to join forces with the Komola Collective Theatre Group and OpenVizor to film and record the testimonies of the Birangona women – before they, and their stories, die out completely.

Leesa has one vision: to ensure the stories of the Birangona women are never forgotten. By helping us make this film, every single person contributing to its creation is actively safeguarding the testimonies of a period of history the world seems desperate to forget.

Find out more  about Leesa and the play in The Guardian and her TedxTalk.


We are proud to announce that as of June 2017, filming stages 1, 2 and 3 have been completed (see full details HERE). The film is now in post-production.

We are also working towards:

  1. The creation of a range of long-term Legacy Initiatives to help audiences worldwide honour these amazing women, and
  2. The launch of a Foundation to aid and assist the Birangona women and their families in overcoming the socio-economic hardships they currently face.


We urgently need to raise £45,000 to meet our post-production and distribution costs.
This money includes covering full costs for editing over 96 hours of raw footage, translation and subtitling services, narration, music composition, and first-to-third edits of the film in its entirety.


You can help by:

1. Donating to help us meet our funding target.
2. Raising awareness of the film by sharing this page with your friends and family.
3. Emailing us at if you would like to assist in any way.  Please cite “BIRANGONA” in the subject heading.