The Fight for Regional Autonomy through Regional Culture: <i>Antigone</i> in Manipur, North‐East India

Erin B. Mee

in Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586196
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191728754 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

The Fight for Regional Autonomy through Regional Culture: Antigone in Manipur, North‐East India

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This chapter focuses on two productions of Antigone in Manipur, a police state in North-East India: a 1995 production directed by Nongthombam Premchand, and a 2004 production directed by Kshetrimayum Jugindro Singh. In these productions Antigone is about the conflict between regional autonomy and national stability. These productions have been used to articulate, celebrate, and perform ‘Manipuri’ culture, and to establish a regional identity that is distinct from, if not in opposition to, the national identity and culture imposed on Manipur's citizens by the Indian government. As such, they mount both a cultural and political resistance to the national government. In Manipur, the act of staging Antigone is itself an Antigone-like act of defiance against the state, thus a production of Antigone in Manipur is not simply a story about a political act; it is itself a political act.

Keywords: Anouillh; Manipur; Indian theatre; post-colonialism; Ratan Thiyam; Nongthombam Premchand; Ksethrimayum Jugindro Singh; ritual; Ras lila; Lai Haraoba

Chapter.  7798 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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