The art group Udeido has launched its virtual exhibition on the human rights situation in West Papua – it carries the name “Tonawi Mana”. It can be viewed on the group’s website until 17 August 2017. The exhibition is a further initiative by Udeido to push the development of superb and critical art in West Papua.
Tonawi Mana is a term from the language of the indigenous Mee tribe in the central highlands of West Papua. It refers to those elderly Mee who are “able to tap the hearts of their listeners and also stimulate all the voices that are not expressed by their owners to be expressed. They speak as a wise for the weak ones. For these Tonawi, peace can be realized by speaking out all the problems […] Tonawi Mana refers to the wise who always speak up when a dispute or injustice occurs.” The exhibition shows artwork from Papuan artists as well as artists from other regions in Indonesia who have expressed their perception and critical views of the situation of indigenous Papuans in drawings, photography paintings, installations and poems.
The term Udeido comes from the word Ude which refers to a type of leaf commonly used by the indigenous Mee to cover wounds or treat bleeding. Udeido is the plural of Ude. The Udeido Group held its inaugural exhibition with the title “Mairi” in October 2019, at the Sangkring Art Project. This exhibition was attended by members of Udeido and the guest artists. The art group puts a strong emphasis on the “Contextualization of Concept” – Udeido explores concepts of indigenous tribes in West Papua and applies them to the context of present situations.