Past events
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All over the world, minorities are fighting for cultural self-determination or political autonomy. One such minority are the Naga – an umbrella term for more than thirty different tribal groups which, despite many similarities, differ in their culture and language and in the way they see themselves. The majority of the approximately three million people now live in the state of Nagaland in north-eastern India.

Since the end of British colonial rule, the Naga have been fighting for autonomy from mainland India and for cultural self-determination. It was only during this period that the desire for a common identity emerged. Christianity is the main religion in Nagaland and has greatly influenced the culture.

So what does it mean to be a Naga today? The exhibition Naga Land. Voices from Northeast India looks at different aspects of contemporary Naga society and its cultural identity. It brings together the historical Naga collection of the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin with contemporary photography, fashion, and visual arts from the region. The Naga have been an important research interest of European scholars since as early as the nineteenth century.

The Naga artist Zubeni Lotha is aprt of the interdisciplinary curatorial team behind the collaborative exhibition of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Berlin, the Humboldt Forum Foundation in the Berlin Palace, and the Berlin Botanical Museum; she looks critically at the constructed image of the Naga in historical Western photography. I will not weep, a new sound installation by Naga artist Senti Toy Threadgill in the Humboldt Forum’s listening room also reflects on contemporary Nagaland, its colonial past, and current political situation.

Naga Land
Zubeni Lotha


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