transmissions from earth ::: 
The Dung Verei Festival 
2018

photo: Gina Kaltipli, Further Arts
The Dung Verei Festival is intended to be a platform for the performance of traditional customary activities known locally as kastom) including music, dance, food preparation, etc.  For the integration of community into the design of value networks and communication structures this is a key meeting. 

A media team - headed by Vanuatu media practioners who are working with the Ambae community through Further Arts - will attend this meeting to record stories and create media in October 2018.

In the first trip recording shell money interviews Delly and Sarah discovered a connection to the continuing practice of shell money production in the Solomon Islands - and also a kinship connections between the Gaua community and the Solomon Islands community (as confirmed by Chief Polwyn).

Taking forward these finding from the initial Shell Money interviews, we have applied for funding for a small group of people from Gaua, representives from Santo and also the Solomon Islands to a meeting on the revival of shell money at the Dung Verei Festival, held in conjunction with TORBA Day (Oct 1-2). The opportunity to support space for communities from the more remote island of Ureparapara - custodians of a slightly different lineage of shell money production - as well as others from Vanua Lava, and Mota Lava to communicate around Shell Money practices is valuable.

An invitation was also made to a delegation from the Tulalip community in the North West Pacific and WISN based in Hawaii.
Ambae Evacuation
2018
photo: Gina Kaltiplei, Further Arts

Ambae Evacution

Photographer Gina Kaltiplei (Further Arts) and Kate Genevieve (Special Advisory Member Further Arts) combine for an article for the Independent in the UK, with support from the whole team.

“ On Vanuatu, the activity of Manaro Vui, the volcano on the island of Ambae is raising the possibility of a wholesale evacuation of the island’s entire population from the island.

This is not only raising urgent questions of how these people could be re-located, housed and fed. It is also... raising the question of how the people of an island nation can preserve their culture when no longer living on the geographical area which for so long defined it.

Vanuatu is an island country where 280,000 people live and is made up of an archipelago of 83 islands. The Ambae residents number around 10,000. The activity of the Manaro volcano has produced thick ash and gas over the island, destroying crops and contaminating water supplies.



Summary Log of Project Posts: Prior 2018 




TORBA Day
Aug 2018

Dely Roy Nalo, Thomas Dick and team recorded a formal invitation to the Tulalip community from the Ureparapara community, the community displaced from Rowa the main island for producing shell money in the past. The Chief of the Ureparapara made a general invitation on video inviting those interested in seeing the production of shell money to come to Ureparapara and Banks Islands to witness the practice of this cultural heritage. In Tommy’s words it is “a genuine standing invitation issued by a proud chief to all people”.

Though it is unclear whether this connection can happen for TORBA Day 2018 or 2019 we are exploring designing creative workshops on the islands, facilitated by Further Arts, to work on the values and access rules that can underpin a self-sovereign digital archive and towards prototyping objects embedded with media and story.

Dely and Thomas at Further Arts publish an illustrated essay TEKS | Promoting & Safeguarding Biocultural Diversity Through the Arts in Northern Vanuatu.



July 2018 

Further Arts begin their documentation of the stories of Ambae. A technical plan is formulated towards immersive documentation of culture on Ambae (360 video and photogrammetry).  Funds sought for a media team with expertise in immersive capture to support Vivien Obed and Vanuatu-based media practioners who are working with the Ambae community through Further Arts. Draft of MIT application logged: MIT application



1st May 2018

Permanent evacuation from Ambae reported.  Further Arts invited by the people’s Paramount Chief, Benuel Garae, the President of the Ambae Island Council of Chiefs, to document Ambae culture with the Ambae community as they leave the island.

>> Full Post



Shell Money:
from Vanuatu to NW America
2017 -2018

The first journey to make recordings of interviews with Som practitioners in 2017 was led by Dely, David and Tommy at Further Arts and was documented by Gina and Liz. These interviews focused on the culture and practice of the specialised local currency called Som - Shell Money - and value in Vanuatu.

It was initiated by the Tulalip Tribes of Washington with financial support from the Traditions Foundation.  The Tulalip community have a rich cultural heritage related to shellfish in the Pacific Northwest of the US. The inspiration of the project was to support traditional shellfish practices in the South Pacific, to document traditional knowledge and practices and to foster community connections to shellfish resources.

The fund was awarded to Maryka Paquette and through Specialist Advisory Member at Further Arts, Kate Genevieve, and WISN, this initiative connected up to Dely’s work in Vanuatu and the work of Sarah Doyle.

This vital seed funding supported Delly lead a project and make invitation to remote communities in Vanuatu to share knowledge with the Tulalip Community in NW America.

During this development phase international interest in the relationship between traditional/local currencies and crypto-technologies such as blockchain grows and Further Arts explores how these technologies could bolster sovereignty and cultural ownership.



Relationship building:
Global connections

2017

Tracey Benson gathered together collaborators at SCANZ Canberra and forms Trans-Art Alliance, a network that supports the growing creative collaboration with communities in Santo, Vanauatu. 

Ceremony held simultaneously betweeen groups in Vanuatu, Australia, Scotland, France, England and North America weaving relationships between cultural producers, technologists and creatives with a shared intent.

The first evacuation of Ambae galvanised the network to shift from regular online meetings towards action with Sandy from Leweton Community and Shelley Darling organising shipments of water filters to the affected communities in Ambae.



Leweton Residency, Vanuatu
2016 - 2017

Foundational work with Further Arts and the Leweton Community in Santo. Katharine Vega and Toby Gifford visit on an artist residency. Shooting and recording songs and story with 360 video techniques and binaural audio recording.

The residency work was exhibited with partner galleries in Australia and UK and at the NIMES festival under the name of “Trust”.  Various audio listening and immersive communication workshops were run to support the project and connect with Sound networks for acoustic ecology. Toby, Sandy, Tommy, Kate worked on techniques for recording and storing media related to the land eg. directional audio installations. Trust was exhibited at the Sensory ecology exhibition for the Gympie Gallery curated by Dr Leah Barcalay.



Art COP21:
Hacking Reality
2015 - 2016

Creative Activism during ArtCop21 Paris. Creative co-ordinated storytelling on the streets and seed planting. 360 creative documentation of the protest activity and the ceremony on the morning of D12 bringing together many indigenous communities outside Notre Dame Cathedral.

The work is extended back in the UK with Hacking Reality workshops running through 2016. Links: Edgeryders Fellowship and Hacking Reality at CCC33



 Cascading: Origins & Festival of Climate Ideas  

November, 2015

The CASCADE  starts as an experiment in creative activism & storytelling networks - created across different media streams by many people - improvising experimental communication networks to invoke alternative healthy relational futures for human cultures on earth. 

The project kicks off with an opening ritual by the water in England in mid-Winter at a cascade in Hastings recorded by hydrophone: a group prayer for a living creative space in which sustainable vital futures can live.

This developed into collaborative public workshops in Brighton, UK and a takeover at the ONCA gallery for the Festival of Climate Ideas: story telling on the streets, projection portals, knowledge share and seed bombing workshops in preparation for the work in Paris for the COP21.