Rituals & Ruptures
Sunday, 30th July 2023 | 11:00-18:00
P21 Gallery in partnership with Other Cinemas are proud to present Rituals & Ruptures, a day of film exhibition exploring the rituals that bring our communities together and the ruptures we must face alone. Curated by Other Cinemas for South Asian Heritage month, the films will be exhibited for one day and will be followed by a panel discussion with a selection of the filmmakers. Rooted between silences and storytelling, the films touch on the spiritual search for retreat and the often harsh facts of reality. This tension between retreat and reality is something all the filmmakers grapple with in different ways and resolution is not always forthcoming. Moving between fiction, documentary and experimental works, the exhibition is interested in the different ways to make sense of the world and our place in it.
The exhibition will conclude with a discussion at 18.00 exploring rituals and ruptures with a particular focus on how faith and spirituality are represented on screen. The panel will include exhibiting artists and will be led by Raheela Suleman, who will be joined by Zubeda Mir and Jamal Mehmood.
Curated by: Other Cinemas
Generously Supported by: Camden Council
The exhibition features the work of:
Abinash Bikram Shah
& Turab Shah + Arwa Aburawa
the variable (2023), dir. Raheela Suleman
the variable (2023) is an archive film inspired by a Muslim-Indian/London - born identity,unbound by time. The short explores Islamic existentialism, cyclical grief and construction of the ego.
As God Wills It (2022), dir. Zubeda Mir
When war results in displacement, both Fazal and Khawas find themselves having to rebuild their lives in makeshift dwellings on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan.
As God Wills is a short observational documentary which takes a subtle dive into the daily lives of those who are displaced, whilst offering an intimate look and feel into the human condition and how transitory life is.
Muriid (2021), dir. Jamal Mehmood
Muriid is an Arabic term literally meaning ‘seeker’ and refers in Tasawwuf (sometimes called Sufism) to the seeker or the student on the spiritual path, usually taught by a guide or Shaykh. This dream-like poetry film follows one such muriid on his path to a spiritual opening as he tries to shed his attachment to the world.
I Carry It With Me Everywhere (2022), dir. Arwa Aburawa & Turab Shah
Shot in black and white, Aburawa and Shah’s film seeks to convey the timeless and ongoing search for answers in response to the experience of these hostile environments, which are familiar to many migrant communities in the UK. In the process, they seek to subvert the idea that belonging is an inherently positive experience. What if a moment of belonging here, in the UK, is also a moment of losing belonging somewhere else? What if that shift also requires giving up a more rooted space of belonging for a precarious one, one that is always at risk of being taken away? The film evokes this deep sense of loss, whilst also honouring what people continually manage to build and create in resistance.
The Coast (2021), dir. Sohrab Hura
The physical coastline becomes a metaphor for a ruptured piece of skin barely holding together a volatile state of being ready to explode. Filmed in the dark of the night during religious festivities in a village in South India, the margin between land and water becomes a point of release beyond which characters experience fear, surprise, anger, sadness, trust, anticipation, excitement, contempt but also rapture as they wash off the masquerade.
LO SUM CHOE SUM (2015), dir. Dechen Roder
The traditional three-year, three-month, and three-day retreat—known as lo sum choe sum by the Bhutanese—is an advanced and intensive meditation practice undertaken by Buddhist monks, nuns, and other devout practitioners. By withdrawing from the world and worldly distractions for a lengthy period of time, practitioners are able to focus on cultivating higher states of insight, wisdom, and clarity, opening themselves to the possibility of deep transformation. In director Dechen Roder’s brief but brooding work of fiction, Lhamo, a young, wounded girl from Bhutan, faces the harsh gaze of the world in an attempt to find her own form of retreat and redemption.
LORI (MELANCHOLY OF MY MOTHER'S LULLABIES) (2022), dir. Abinash Bikram Shah
A mother sings lullabies to her 12 year-old daughter in order to calm her down. But, when the lullabies end, their reality turns out to be much grimmer and more life-altering.
Everyday Star (2019), dir. Rajee Samarasinghe
Everyday states of being and decay are observed through the infinite scope of the cosmos and the restorative light which emanates from it, driving cinematic and photographic impulses.
IF I WERE ANY FURTHER AWAY I’D BE CLOSER TO HOME (2016), dir. Rajee Samarasinghe
A silent poem reflecting on the place of my mother’s birth and her first traces on earth. A generational portrait of South Asian “makers” becomes a perceptual voyage into memory, experience, and touch.
the destructors (2019), dir. Imran Perretta
the destructors is shot on location in Tower Hamlets, east London. Reflecting on Perretta’s experience as a young man of Bangladeshi heritage, the work reconsiders the figure of alienated male youth to explore the complexities of ‘coming of age’ for young Muslim men living in the UK.
Raheela Suleman is a writer, filmmaker and cross-disciplinary artist from London. Her films have screened at Tate Britain, the ICA, Genesis Cinema and All Points East Festival 2018. She is a student at Other Cinemas Film School 2023, Chisenhale Gallery alumna, Barbican Young Poet alumna and former member of Octavia Poetry Collective. Her work is fixated on magic realism, Indian mythology and Islamic mysticism.
Zubeda Mir is a documentary filmmaker and a researcher. She has over eight years of experience working as a freelance multimedia journalist for BBC News, BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle and Al-Jazeera.
Jamal Mehmood is a writer and filmmaker based in London. His work has been featured at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Magma magazine, BBC4, Popula and Media Diversified. He has been shortlisted for the Outspoken Prize for Poetry in Film and won the national Poetry Rivals. His latest book ‘The Leaf of the Neem Tree’ (Hajar Press) was released in 2021.
Imran Perretta works across the moving-image, sound, performance and poetry. Perretta's practice addresses biopower, marginality and the (de)construction of cultural histories. Underpinning his work are questions of alterity and neo-coloniality, meditating on the process of identity forming in a post-9/11 era characterized by austerity, state-sponsored Islamophobia and the War on Terror.
Sohrab Hura is a photographer and filmmaker. His work lies at the intersection of Film, Photographs, Sound and Text. By constantly experimenting with form and using a journal-like approach, many of his works attempt to question a constantly shifting world and his own place within it. His films have been widely shown in international film festivals. The Coast (2020) premiered at Berlinale 2021 while Bittersweet (2019) was awarded the Principal Prize of the International Jury at the 66th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2020. The Lost Head & The Bird (2017) had previously won the NRW Award at the 64th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2018. Hura lives and works in New Delhi, India.
Dechen Roder is one of the few female filmmakers from the kingdom of Bhutan. She started off making small documentaries and videos, through her production company – Dakinny Productions in 2009. In 2015 she wrote and directed Lo Sum Choe Sum (3 Year 3 Month Retreat), which competed in the Berlinale Shorts and other festivals around the world. That same year she began production of her debut feature film- Honeygiver Among the Dogs, (recipient of the ACF 2016 post production award and the HANIFF 2014 project market award), which premiered in Busan International Film Festival 2017, had its European premiere in Berlinale 2017 and won three awards at the Fribourg International Film Festival 2017. It was also the first film from Bhutan to be nominated for an Asia Pacific Screen Award 2017 in the Cultural Diversity category. In 2019 Dechen Roder won the MPA Asian Pacific Screen Awards Film Fund for the film I, the Song. Dechen Roder is also the co-founder and co-organizer of Bhutan’s first film festival- Beskop Tshechu and the creator of www.beskopbhutan.com
Abinash Bikram Shah is a National Award-winning writer/director based in Nepal. An alumnus of Locarno Filmmakers Academy, Berlinale Talents, and Asian Film Academy, he has written, directed, and produced short films that have participated and won at many International Film Festivals.
His most recent short film LORI (Melancholy of my Mother’s Lullabies) became the first Nepali film to be officially selected at Cannes Film Festival (2022), where it competed for Palme d’Or Short and was awarded a 'Special Jury Mention'. He has also written several feature films that have premiered in Berlin International Film Festival (2012) and Venice - International Film Critics Week (2015) and went on to become Nepal's Official Entry for the Oscars in Best Foreign Language Film section.