Menelusuri Bissu \ Pilgrimage to the Bissu Community
Film by Tamarra (2019, 38 min)
Online Screening from 23 November – 10 December 2021
Tamarra, who is in a dilemma over Tamarra’s own historical roots as a waria, takes a pilgrimage to understand the practices of non-binary communities in various regions in Indonesia. On this 2016 journey, Tamarra met a group of ancient Bugis sacred persons in South Sulawesi called Bissu. From 2016 to 2019, Tamarra also studies other gender variations in South Sulawesi, such as Oroane (cis male), Makkunrai (cis female), Calabai (male with feminine gender expression), Calalai (female with masculine gender expression), and Bissu (gender-non-conforming ) and how sexual/gender minorities learn how to survive and negotiate with the surrounding community who are predominantly Muslim. Identity politics, class conflicts, cultural rituals, and religion are the keywords in the documentation captured by Tamarra. The film is also a part of an art installation exhibited at the Biennale Jogja XV.
The online screening is part of trans-ancestral pilgrimages, a stream of House of Kal Berlin curated by Ferdiansyah Thajib with Sophia-Layla Afsar, Tamarra and Vicky Shahjahan.
Menelusuri Bissu opens the space for the transoceanic conversation on past and present embodiments of gender nonconformity in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and beyond, on memories of ancestral practices and politics of holding spaces of care
27 November 2021. 2 pm CET