Annu Palakunnathu Matthew – ‘An Indian from India’

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew’s series ‘An Indian from India’ – diptychs combining archival images from the 19th and early 20th century of Native Americans with her self-portraits, to challenge the legacies of colonial pasts of more than 500 years and exploring the ‘otherness’ of identity.

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew - An Indian from India

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew – An Indian from India

 

“As an immigrant, I am often questioned about where I am “really from.” When I say that I am Indian, I often have to clarify that I am an Indian from India. It seems strange that all this confusion started because Christopher Columbus thought he had found the Indies and called the native people of America collectively as Indians.”

With themes like assimilation and assumptions about minorities, and titles ‘Red Indian’ / ’Brown Indian’ or ‘Noble Savage / ‘Savage Noble’, the confusion is not only around the word “Indian” but has deeper roots in stereotypes of the notion of ‘primitive natives’ and races relations.