solidarity

Cloth as vehicle of Malian crisis

This large cotton boubou, well sewn, shows one of the designs that reflect the Malian crisis. The product comes from Douentza (located in the 5th region of Mali). The elements seen on the boubou illustrate the proliferation of the crisis. The arrangement of the designs forms a chain of problems. Each element is in the form of a hook and the two small dashes from top to bottom show the continuation of the chain.

Witnessing

Dust

It’s my turn at the water point:
The trickle is slower today
Each day, slower,
One day, it may stop;
And my field has withered,
Rusted-dry in the staring sun,
The crevices filling with dust.
Tin buckets clash behind me
And a loud voice roughly bawls
“Don’t fill that bucket full!
Fool – don’t you know you’ll slop?”
I withdraw, abashed. It’s true:
I mustn’t spill a precious drop
Not even as a libation

To the gloating sun.

 

Naga Women's Freedom

Field of Baby's Breath

I wish I could wear 
a pretty Pale Pink
ankle-length Calico dress
with frills, flounces and lace,
break out of the mould
abandon the stereotypes
and get into my working clothes

Our brothers are a war
Our land is awash with blood
Our rice fields need tending
Our children caring
Our sick healing
Our streets cleaning
Our enterprises running
Our home fires burning

Rise Naga Women

This song "Rise, Naga Woman" composed by Theyiesinuo Keditsu, music by Khyochano TCK and Topeni as soloist,  was chosen as the winner for the ‘State Theme Song for Women’ and was released by the State Resource Centre for Women (SRCW) under the aegis of the Nagaland State Social Welfare Board (NSSWB) during a program organised to observe the International Day for the elimination of violence against women.

The song speaks to Naga women and asks them to spread their wings and rise up against discrimination and inspire all of Nagaland and take them to a glorious future.

Voices from the outside

Dr Imsuchila Kichu is an Assistant Professor of English at Cotton University, Assam. The following is an excerpt from a piece penned by her reflecting upon Naga women and society from the perspective of an insider who has lived away from her community.

 

Re-seizing the Naga Narrative

Dr. Akum Longchari is the editor of The Morung Express and has been involved with people's movements in the areas of human rights, justice, peace, and reconciliation. He also engages actively with the Forum for Naga Reconciliation and is associated with the online community journal, the Naga Republic. 

The following is an excerpt from a conversation with Dr Rakhee Kalita Moral.

 

The Network of Women: Weaving Freedom

A popular success story of the North-East Network (NEN) is Chizami Weaves where the NEN together with a network of 600+ local women from Chizami and the neighbouring villages of Phek district in Nagaland built ‘Chizami Weaves’  an enterprise that aimed to preserve and promote the rich textile weaving tradition of Nagaland. While empowering rural women economically, it also gave them a voice and agency to bring about positive changes in their families and communities. Gender relations within homes are changing.

The Network of Women

I am Wekoweu Tsuhah (Akole) and I belong to the Chakhesang tribe of Nagaland. I am a women’s rights activist and a development practitioner, an advocate for gender equality, social and environmental justice. While growing up, I experienced fear and rage as I lived through armed conflict, alcoholism, domestic violence, poverty and these shaped the person I am today. I am passionate about working with people, women in particular; but it is only after I started working with a women’s rights organization – NEN, the North-East Network, did I truly realize and recognize these social injustices.

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