decolonizing rituals

In short film UMAD (Hindi: emotional overflow) you witness the spiritual journey of decolonization for four artists with roots in Surinam, India, and the Netherlands. They negotiate with histories of forced labor migration and colonialism, the erasure of cultures they belong to, cultures they have come to belong to, and the oppressive systems which continue to exist today. All of them have been touched by the Dutch colonial project, but are shaped differently through their personal experiences in life through religion, gender, and sexuality, which becomes visible through their authentic visions on decolonization and healing. The short film is part of program including a writing ritual, group conversation on the concept of ancestry, spoken word and more.

Fazle Shairmahomed dances towards a state of trance inspired by Sufi dance rituals of Gnawa and Zar, and Afro-Surinamese Winti culture.

Anima Jhagroe-Ruissen confronts a history of exotification through Indian dances, henna art, and facial expressions.

Rubaina Bhikhie questions the relationship with her ancestors through spoken word, while claiming her space in history and time as a royalty in the city where she belongs.

Taskien Khudabux finds herself in the mother womb building a catharsis through her femininity,  Islamic prayers, and the internal struggle for liberation.


Artists: Fazle Shairmahomed, Taskien Khudabux, Anima Jhagroe-Ruissen, Rubaina Bhikhie
Film and edit: Tanja Busking
Sound: Marlon Penn
Research: Zuleika Sheik
Photography: Milan Tettero

Made possible by: crowdfunding whydonate, Masala Movement, theater De Vaillant, Gemeente Den Haag, Cultuurschakel, Fonds1818, Fonds voor Cultuurpartcipatie, Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds, VSB Fonds

Background of UMAD