A Letter for Missing and Disappeared Archives


  • Elspeth Iralu Assistant Professor of Indigenous Planning, University of New Mexico


Nagaland, archives, colonialism and decolonization, sovereignty, storytelling


In this letter, Elspeth Iralu initiates a time-travelling correspondence with her paternal grandfather, Vichazelhu Iralu, about his dreams for the Naga sovereignty movement. The letter grieves the loss of personal and political archives that were stolen, disappeared, and destroyed through processes of colonization. Iralu offers letter-writing, shaped by Naga modes of storytelling, as an anticolonial epistemology that enacts Naga sovereignty in the here and now.


Iralu, Kaka D. 2016. A reluctant second reply to Robert A. Silverstein. Morung Express. https://morungexpress.com/reluctant-second-reply-robert-silverstein-0 (accessed 3.12.24).

Iralu, Niketu and Christine Iralu. 2023. Personal communication with the author. September 2, 2023.

Iralu, Vichazelhu. 1964. "Production of Trypanosoma cruzi Cysts in vitro." Nature 204: 4957, 486-487.

Krishnan, Sneha. 2023. Open Peer Review for ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies. September 23, 2023.

Lhousa. Zapuvisie. 2020. Personal communication with the author. Nagaland: Sechü-Zubza. January 2020.

Longkumer, Arkotong and Meren Imchen (illustrator). 2023. A Path Home: A Graphic Novel on Naga Repatriation. Guwahati: RRaD, Dimapur & North Eastern Research Centre.

Ozeki, Ruth. 2013. A Tale for the Time Being. New York: Penguin Books.




How to Cite

Iralu, E. (2024). A Letter for Missing and Disappeared Archives. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 23(2), 161–165. Retrieved from https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/2396



Special Issue: Desirable Futures