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The Body Undone Film Screening: „Birha“

10.April 2021 16:00 - 11.April 2021 16:00

The Body Undone: In Conversation with Loss is a programme of film screenings and discussions organised by Sana Rizvi for Oyoun's EMBODIED ARTS FESTIVAL. The selected films look at various kinds of loss held by different bodies - with a focus on storytelling from new voices. Using film, an embodied memory in itself, an invitation is made to reflect on the question: can we discover new possibilities in the workings of loss and grief by allowing spaces for these feelings to be held and acknowledged in an embodied way?

Each film is available for a selected timeframe during Oyoun's EMBODIED ARTS FESTIVAL.

Contact us at to get sent the link and password to view the film. (This is limited to people in Germany)

There is a Q&A event happening with the film's director on 11th April at 16:00, see here for details.



Ekta Mittal
80” | India | 2018 | Hindi, Punjabi with English Subtitles

In a faraway village called Birha, missing people, mothers and tired lovers yearn to see beyond the mist. They meet each other in impenetrable silences and endless mourning. They curse the moon for witnessing their insomnias. Birha situates itself in a season of waiting, climate of uncertainty: where only a loud screech can register distance between loved ones.

Birha is the grief, agony and anguish of separation, derived from Punjabi Sufi Poetry. Guided by Shiv Kumar Batalvi's birha poetry, the film captures the pain, lamentation and yearning caused by separation. The film searches for missing people, who left their homes to work in faraway cities, and have still not returned. The locations are not marked, characters are not named, Birha situates itself in a season of waiting and a climate of uncertainty.

Ekta Mittal co-founded Maraa (, a media and arts collective in Bangalore in 2008. She works there as a practitioner, researcher, curator and facilitator around issues of gender, labour & caste in rural and urban contexts. She also works with creative practices in public space, through independent production and collaborations with other artists. She has been making films around labour, migration and cities since 2009. Her recent film Birha is about separation and longing in the context of migration.

Director: Ekta Mittal
Production: Ekta Mittal for Maraa
Cinematography: Paromita Dhar, Amith Surendran
Editing: Abhro Banerjee
Sound: Ekta Mittal
Sound Design: Bigyna Dahal



Curators, artists and cultural practitioners have been exploring identities, belonging and embodied memories through diasporic, decolonial and queer perspectives as part of Oyoun’s first curatorial focus: EMBODIED TEMPORALITIES. The outcomes, encounters and queries will be presented and celebrated during the EMBODIED ARTS FESTIVAL from 8th - 18th April. View all events here.


10.April 2021 16:00
11.April 2021 16:00