'If they are human, they will feel it’: a conversation with Maria Wenda
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Maria and Benny Wenda are members of the Lani tribe from the central highlands region of West Papua. In 2003, they fled their country and came to Britain where they were granted political asylum. From their home in Oxford they run the Free West Papua Campaign. In May 2009, Maria participated in a seminar held at The British Museum, entitled The Arts of West Papua, describing life in West Papua and singing songs about her experiences, with her group the Lani Singers. In this essay, Maria is in conversation with Julie Adams of The Melanesia Arts Project—a research project based at the British Museum from 2005–2010.