Can we see the baby bump please?

Director: Surabhi Sharma
English/Hindi (subtitled), 49 min, 2013, India
An attempt to understand the practice of commercial surrogacy in the Indian context.
Can we see the baby bump please?
A still from Can we see the baby bump please?

Routine Skype conversations with the commissioning parents of the child growing in her womb does not make the surrogate’s condition less alienating. Performed in this peculiar configuration, reproductive labour of women from marginalised backgrounds is the keystone of the rapidly expanding fertility industry. The global reach of medical tourism and commercial surrogacy spawns a range of clinics and practices across big cities and small towns in India.

The choice to become a surrogate plays out sometimes as having to face stigma for such a use of the body and at others through making changes in their lifestyle and self-perception of the pregnancy towards relinquishing the child. The consequent efforts to invisiblise or undermine the significance of women’s labour can often add to the potentially exploitative conditions that these women have to negotiate in their lives; a concern that is only strengthened in the absence of any regulation.

‘Can we see the baby bump please?’ meets with surrogates, doctors, agents, law firms and family in an attempt to understand the practice of commercial surrogacy in the Indian context.

Producer: Sama - Resource Group for Women and Health
Director: Surabhi Sharma
Camera: Pooja Sharma
Editing: Diksha Sharma
Sound: Suresh Rajamani, Gissy Michael, Anita Kushwaha, Mohandas V. P.
  • Special Mention, 10th Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival, New Delhi, 2013
About the Director:

Surabhi Sharma studied film direction at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, and made her first film in 2001. She completed a BA in Anthropology and Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai University. She has worked on seven long documentaries apart from some short films. And video installations. Her key concern has been documenting cities in transition through the lens of labour, music and migration, and most recently reproductive labour. Cinema verite and ethnography are the genres that inform her filmmaking.

Her films have been screened and awarded at international film festivals. Her film has been a part of film series screened at museums and at universities. Surabhi Sharma has directed and scripted fiction telefilms and Science Programming for children. She has worked as an actor with a Mumbai based theatre group.

She has also taught as a guest lecturer at the National Institute of Design and Whistling Woods International. She has received the Majlis Fellowship in 2002. She was awarded the Puma Catalyst Award in 2011 by the Britdoc Foundation.

Posted by Magic Lantern Movies LLP on February 2, 2014
Latest Updates on Persistence Resistance

Delhi launch of the book 'Project Cinema City'

Delhi launch of the book 'Project Cinema City'
On the occasion of the opening of Persistence Resistance 2014, we are delighted to bring you … Delhi launch of the book PROJECT CINEMA CITY An anthology that highlights desires, imaginations, spaces, access, languages and viewing conventions that inform the cinemas Bombay/Mumbai makes, and the cities its cinema produces. Based on text and image essays, graphics, annotated artworks, films, documentation and maps. Editors: Madhusree Dutta, Kaushik Bhaumik and Rohan Shivkumar Foreward: Arjun...Delhi launch of the book 'Project Cinema City'

Magic Lantern Foundation

Magic Lantern Movies