For many people in the West, the word ‘tantric’ conjures thoughts of extraordinarily lengthy sex sessions – perhaps involving the musician Sting – or yoga. But this oversimplified and often commercialised popular understanding of Tantra belies a subversive philosophy that challenges stereotypes of womanhood. In this video from the British Museum, the curator Imma Ramos takes viewers on a tour of the exhibition ‘Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution’, tracing Tantra from its roots in 6th-century India up until today. In doing so, Ramos touches on how Tantra’s philosophy of divine feminine power has influenced Hinduism and Buddhism, India’s independence movement, and modern artistic thought and feminist practice.
Video by the British Museum
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