Decolonising aesthetics: Natasha Tontey’s queer futurism and Indigenous cultural politics in Minahasa

In the processes of colonial modernisation and post-independence nation-building, the indigenous land of Minahasa in North Sulawesi has been pushed to multiple cultural, political, and religious margins of Indonesia. Its cultural revival in the past decade through, for example, the Mawale Movement, thus remains largely unacknowledged outside of local media and anthropological scholarship. It is relatively recent that audiences of contemporary art (this writer included), have become aware of contemporary Minahasa culture, through multimedia artist Natasha Tontey’s moving image work Wa’anak Witu Watu (2021).

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