Meet the community of Hijras who refuse to dim their light for anyone.

- Words by Danielle Penter

Directed & Produced by Lily Vetch & Rahemur Rahman

DOP: Michael Filocamo

 

BODY OF OUR OWN

Directed by Lily Vetch & Rahemur Rahman

DOP: Michael Filocamo

BODY OF OUR OWN

Directed by Lily Vetch & Rahemur Rahman

DOP: Michael Filocamo

Lily Vetch, in collaboration with Rahemur Rahman, explores gender, sexuality, and class in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with four Hijras: Neshi, NoorJahan, Momo and Jannat as they sing, dance, nurture, and support each other.

At a wedding or celebration marking the birth of a child across South East Asia, you might see a group of brightly dressed women singing and performing - offering blessings to the baby or newlyweds. There may be an excited yet slightly paranoid look in the guests’ eyes as they take in the performance because the women singing and dancing are Hijras, a community traditionally classed as a third gender who occupy a paradoxical position in South-East Asian culture; they are both feared and revered. They wield the power to bless or curse. Their place at important societal ceremonies dates back centuries to when they were more respected and celebrated. However, this changed when British colonial rule took over South-East Asia, and the Hijra were deemed criminal and immoral. As a result, Hijras are viewed with fear and suspicion today and often live on the fringes of society. Choosing freedom of expression over shame and repression, many Hijra leave home or are forced to leave and instead find support within chosen family structures under the guidance of an elder “Guru Ma”.

Feature documentary - currently in development

Please email for more info: bodyofourown@gmail.com

Follow the project:

Twitter,   Facebook,   Instagram

OVERVIEW

Four young Hijras in Dhaka reclaim their stories by sharing firsthand their fight for acceptance in a society that has, for generations, violently discriminated against them.

This film will explore and challenge gender, sexuality, and class in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The audience will see the lives of four young Hijra who battle for acceptance as they overcome societal barriers to make friendships, find work, fall in love, and re-build familial ties. Their lived experiences are brought to light and we see the effects of physical, sexual, emotional, and mental abuse.

Feature documentary - currently in development

Please email for more info.: bodyofourown@gmail.com

Follow the project:

Twitter,   Facebook,   Instagram

OVERVIEW

Four young Hijras in Dhaka reclaim their stories by sharing firsthand their fight for acceptance in a society that has, for generations, violently discriminated against them.

This film will explore and challenge gender, sexuality, and class in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The audience will see the lives of four young Hijra who battle for acceptance as they overcome societal barriers to make friendships, find work, fall in love, and re-build familial ties. Their lived experiences are brought to light and we see the effects of physical, sexual, emotional, and mental abuse.

Feature documentary - currently in development

Please email for more info.: bodyofourown@gmail.com

Follow the project:

Twitter,   Facebook,   Instagram

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