In Search of Bidesia (2019)

  • Ethnomusicology
  • 1h 5m


In the Indian language of Bhojpuri the name ‘Bidesia’ refers to a person who has migrated to a foreign land. However, Bidesia is also the name of a genre of Bhojpuri folk music, which reflects the history of the pain and loss of the indentured labourers who migrated from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar from the 19th century. This film is a journey to find the last musical expressions of this history still present in contemporary artists, whose songs tell the story of millions of forgotten Indian slaves who laboured on plantations and construction sites throughout the British colonies.

Part of Music Docs, competing for the Ethnomusicology Film Award, in association with the British Forum for Ethnomusicology.

A live Q&A with the filmmaker(s) will take place on Zoom on Saturday 20 March, 12:00 - 12:25 UTC. Find a link to join the live discussion here.

Please note, we are taking Zoom security seriously to ensure a safe space for discussion. Everyone wishing to join the live discussion will need to have a verified Zoom account. Sign up for free here.


Simit Bhagat