The Struggle of the Naga Tribe Background

The Struggle of the Naga Tribe Background

The Struggle of the Naga Tribe is a play written by Indonesian poet, activist, actor, director and playwright W.S. Rendra. Many of Rendra's plays in the 1970s, including this one, were banned as the content of his work was a criticism of the Indonesian President Suharto. Rendra created his work in order to awaken the reality of the indigenous people of Indonesia being alienated by their own government in the name of progress, which ultimately was centered on multinational corporations exploiting the land that was sacred to the Indonesian people in the name of profit.

This play is representative of the bold and courageous nature of W.S. Rendra's expression, as he was one of very few artists in Indonesia whose works spoke out against the leaders of the country. Thus, his art served as a revealing, or peeling back of the facade created by powerful leaders who were themselves taken by the shiny nature of the industrialized Western culture which wanted to plunder the natural resources of Indonesia, leaving it rich in vanity and looking very Western and modern while stripping away the culture one plot of land at a time.

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