Nirvana – NOWNESS

For eighteen days of the year, the small village of Villipurgam in Tamil Nadu is transformed into ‘Koovagam’, the largest gathering of transgender women in Asia. Filmmaker Jess Kohl visited the area with the support of local transgender NGO Born2Win to film this compelling portrait of the lives of two attendees—Aaliyah Kahn and Chintu Dolly. In India, trans women, or hijra, are often seen as a bad omen, and are forced into a life of prostitution and begging. Koovagam becomes a space to celebrate and build friendships and communities in a supporting environment, free from the persecution of the wider world.

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