Sponsored by The Barnard Center for Research on Women. We are grateful for additional support from the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, The Forum on Migration, MESAAS, The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia.
BOMBAY/MUMBAI STORIES: Films about Gender, Labor, and the Politics of Visibility
Part 2: Surabhi Sharma
Bombay/Mumbai Stories explores questions of gender, labor, the politics of visibility, and subaltern public culture with Mumbai-based documentary film-makers Surabhi Sharma and Paromita Vohra.
Surabhi Sharma will share her debut film, Jari Mari: Of Cloth and Other Stories, which documents narratives of gender and informal labor as these relate to the broader processes of deindustrialization.
Sharma will also share scenes from her latest work, Bidesia in Bombayya, a story of Bhojpuri music, migration and mobile phones. Migration is the predominant theme in the music, and the phone is a recurring motif. Mobile phones are also used to circulate the music. And it’s the only way to stay connected to the mothers and wives back home in the village. This film follows two singers in Mumbai who occupy extreme ends of the migrant worker’s vibrant music scene, a taxi-driver chasing his first record deal and Kalpana, the star of the industry.
Surabhi Sharma is an independent film maker. She studied film direction at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, and made her first film in 2001. She has since produced six films including Aamkar [Turtle People] and Jahaji Music, which explores race, identity and Indian indenture as these are reflected in Caribbean music, as well as three video installations including, most recently, an installation for the Hongkong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture.
Surabhi’s films explore a range of subjects, including music and identity, labour and globalization and women’s health. Her films have been screened at various international festivals, and have been awarded at Film South Asia, Nepal; Karachi Film Festival, Pakistan; The Festival of Three Continents, Argentina; Indian Documentary Producers’ Association and Eco-cinema, Greece. Surabhi has written scripts and directed for telefilms and educational films. She has also taught as Visiting Faculty at a range of Institutes and film schools in India.
This event is part of BCRW’s Transnational Feminisms Initiative. These screenings are in conjunction with the seminar “Bombay/Mumbai and Its Urban Imaginaries.”