Puan (translation woman) is a coming-of-age performance exploring self-identity and womanhood as a young Indonesian woman. The project illustrates the journey to self-acceptance and liberation.

Commissioned by CanAsian Dance for its 2021 Grit: Short Dances program.

  • Elvina Raharja
  • Elvina Raharja
  • Elvina Raharja
    Key Cast
  • Phil Kim
    Director of Photography
  • Phil Kim
  • Queenie Seguban
  • Thaniel Johnson
    Sound Editor
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Music Video, Short
  • Genres:
    Experimental, Dance
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 30, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Indonesian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Grit: Short Dances
    May 14, 2021
    Online Premiere
Director Biography - Elvina Raharja

Elvina Raharja, born and raised in Indonesia, is a multi-disciplinary artist currently working in dance and film, with current research on mental health, self-identity, and decolonization practices. Having lived in both Indonesia and Canada gives her a high cultural awareness and more drive to create representation for people like her. Elvina strives for authentic storytelling and honest expression in any of her endeavours. She aspires to be a producer and creative director that pushes for a safe space and inclusivity for everyone, especially in the dance industry.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

My upbringing and my healing journey inspire this performance. Back home in Indonesia, things exist in a binary. You are either A or B, but you are better A. This philosophy also reflects in the beauty standards, and it affected me immensely growing up. Indonesian beauty standards favour Eurocentric features and lighter skin, and it was embedded in our culture and media. I have never seen someone like me anywhere on the big screen or prints. As someone who is not of the Asian beauty standard, I have felt displaced for most of my life. When you never see yourself represented on media on top of the societal and familial pressure to be something else, it would be detrimental.

When you have been told that your body is wrong and your voices are not heard, you started to wonder if your existence is valid. That was what happened to me, and I carried that baggage for a long time.

But, without those wounds, I wouldn’t have this triumph. My past informs my present. I wouldn’t be able to tell this story or be here without going through those tribulations. I am glad I could find help & the healing I needed to bring me to this place and created this project for you.

All in all, I am creating this film for my younger self. This is the film that I wish I had seen growing up, and I hope it’d inspire others too.