Dimapur, November 29: A 2-day international conference ‘Leading Together Dialogues 2023’ – a collaboration between undergraduate students led by the University of Melbourne and undergraduate students at four leading institutions across India – Tetso College in Nagaland, Stella Maris College in Chennai, Savitribai Phule Pune University, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati campus, culminated on November 29 at Tetso College.
Day 2 began with a ‘Short film & documentary screening’ hosted by Talinungsang, Asst. Dean, School of Computer Science, IT & NIELIT, Tetso College at Lorin Hall with Kirsty McKellar, co-ordinator, Leading Together Program, University of Melbourne as the facilitator, Dr. Lakshmi Priya Daniel, Associate Professor, Department of Fine Arts, Stella Maris College (Autonomous), Chennai and Dr. Wichamdinbo Mataina, Asst. Professor, Department of Linguistics, NEIIPA Convenor, Tetso College as discussants.
The first documentary video was presented by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Guwahati campus. The Video Harmony Legacy is a short film that narrates the story of a young Indigenous girl named Nina and her wise grandmother. In a world confronted with environmental challenges, they convey a profound message about sustainability and living in harmony with the earth.
The second documentary video was presented by the University of Melbourne. The video is a First Nations-led, student-centred program in which a team of five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students of the Murrup Barak, Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development at the University of Melbourne in Australia, are on a journey together through experiences of First Nations’ exhibitions and collections, including expert conversations with First Nations Leaders on Indigenous knowledges, material culture, art and place. The students have collaborated to create a video documentary, Warriors, on the season theme ‘Who are we now?’
The third documentary video was presented by Savitribai Phule Pune University. The video is an introduction and a short representation of the students from Arajpada who are beneficiaries of Nplusone/”Read A Story” a not for profit organization which focuses on education in the Talasri Taluka of Maharashtra.
The fourth documentary video was presented by Stella Maris College. This video portrays the challenges faced by indigenous people who migrate to the city for their livelihood and the poor condition of the Koovam river, where many local and migrated indigenous people reside nearby the highly polluted river. They encounter various problems such as mosquito infestations and lots of other discomforts.
After the screening of films, three students from participant institutes presented their reflections of the documentary videos. After which, further discussions were done by the faculty delegates.
This was followed by field visits to Heirloom Naga and the Bamboo Resource Center (Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency) where the students gained insights into sustainable farming practices, biodiversity conservation, and the significance of bamboo as a versatile and eco-friendly resource. They also learned about the cultural heritage of the Naga people, their traditional farming techniques, and the importance of preserving heirloom seeds for agricultural sustainability.
Meanwhile, a panel discussion on “Indigenous Heritage and Decolonization: The Naga Repatriation Journey” was also held where the panelists were Dr. Phyobemo Ngully, Consultant Psychiatrist, Member of Forum for Naga Reconciliation, Member of Nagaland Medical Council, Chairman of Kohima Educational Society; Mr. Yimtiyong Longkumer, BA 5th Semester, History Honours, Tetso College and Mr. Ahyule Keppen, BA 5th Semester, Political Science Honours, Tetso College, and moderated by Manngai H. Phom, a member of Recover, Restore and Decolonize (RRaD).
The discussion ended with a question and answer session with special participation from Dr. Dolly Kikon and Dr. Akum Longkumer. The conference culminated with a cultural programme in the evening.
(Page News Service)