Assia Boundaoui

She // Her // Hers

[ID: An Algerian-American woman sits in darkness under a bright spotlight. Her face glows under the illumination as she looks directly into the camera. Her head is crowned with curly brown hair, framing a stoic and determined face. Her body is posed with her hands clasped in her lap.]

Bridgeview, IL and Chicago, IL
2022 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation.

Assia Boundaoui is an Algerian-American investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker. Boundaoui’s debut short film about hijabi hair salons for HBO Documentary films premiered at the 2018 Sundance film Festival. Her award-winning feature-length documentary The Feeling of Being Watched, which investigates a decade of FBI surveillance in the filmmaker’s Muslim American community, had its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and was nationally broadcast on the PBS series POV.

Boundaoui was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 2018 “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” was a 2019 New America National Fellow, was honored with the Livingston Award for national reporting in 2020, and was awarded a Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship in 2021. She is currently a fellow in the Co-Creation Studio at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she is incubating a cocreated, interactive sequel to her film called Inverse Surveillance Project. Boundaoui has an MA in journalism from New York University and is an Algiers-born, Arabic-speaking Amazigh based in Chicago.

Portrait photo by Paper Monday; courtesy of Color of Change.

  • Artwork by Assia Boundaoui
    From Inverse Surveillance Project.
    [ID: A photo of a redacted FBI document. At the bottom is a color photograph of a young girl who has her hands raised, encircling her eyes like goggles.]
Artwork by Assia Boundaoui