Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, May 21: Project Nagafy is a photography project that aims to document and encapsulate eastern and western influences on the Naga culture, while also projecting Nagaland’s contemporary practices, through mediums that are easily accessible to anyone.
The project was launched on May 21 in Dimapur.
The brainchild of the project is model and entrepreneur Kaheli Chophy, and photographers Abeto Shohe and Betoka Swu.
Project Nagafy is a non-profit initiative that will take into “consideration of globalization propelled by advances in communication and information technology.” This was informed by Swu, an avid photographer.
“Technology has shaped a distinct form of culture in Nagaland that borrows from both eastern and western influences yet somehow deeply rooted in Naga cultural norms,” Swu said.
Swu explained the project will keep the Naga people’s traditional and cultural practices at the forefront but also acknowledging that contemporary culture is of “symbolic value in the sociopolitical growth” of Nagaland.
Keeping this in mind, Swu said that the objective of the project is to bring in the youth, community collaborators and entrepreneurs to work toward discovering the unique Naga story.
“The project seeks to photographically represent the originality of Nagas in creative fields like music, art, dance and other forms of creative expression while also identifying Naga entrepreneurs who have excelled in their fields,” said Chophy.
The project will recognize Nagas who have contributed in the artistic, economic or sociopolitical growth of the Naga community, she said.
The group informed that a percentage of the proceeds from the project will be used to set up a yearly award for community builders which will be conceptualized to promote sustainable social entrepreneurship.
It will mostly focus on people who work ‘behind the scenes’ to make that difference, they said.
“The awards will be based on nominations and nominees will go through a public voting process,” Shohe said.
The Nagafy project will be funded by like-minded entrepreneurs and investors with interests in social responsibility, it was informed.
“In addition, we will also launch a gofundme.com account for public funding, details of which will be given out at a later date,” Swu added.