explore ◊ GAUA ◊ :
5 weeks I spent on an island called GAUA. A wild, strong, spiritual island. It became home. This is a DREAM.
On the first day of the new year I find myself sitting on a beautiful dead tree in front of a 120m high waterfall that celebrates a new beginning with me. I feel. I understand.
A children’s song heard in Musina Village on Vanua Lava.
Endlessly they play the water with their hands, they slap and hit, they play and laugh. All day, in the shadow of the big trees, in the river or the ocean or where the two meat.
Over centuries the idea of a white supremacy has been enforced and manifested through colonialism in the now so called “developing countries”. But these global roles are ancient and wrong. Ideas about people that deserve real admiration for a forgotten strength.
Domestic violence is a present issue in many countries around the world. In Vanuatu many women, children and animals are subjected to violence on the daily basis. And they stay. They find a way to deal with it, to accept it and to still smile.
Violence, the raw physical force intended to hurt or kill a person or an animal is committed daily, endless times around the world. The cycle of hurt and anger spins and spins. But why do we hurt others? And how can we stop it from spinning?
My head is full of streams of thoughts about the disappearing island life and cultural genocides. I slowly fade into a deep, dreamful sleep. Responsibility and powerlessness fight their endless game.
After having spent Christmas morning in the Anglican Church of Aver my thoughts are circling around the churches influence on the people here. Somehow I can only see the negative side and it leaves a lingering sadness on my tongue that doesn’t want to vanish. Part two.
With a head full of thoughts about missionaries and sinners I find the way to my hammock. My belly is once again full with grey juice and some maniok. Sleep envelops me soon after I lie down. No dreams come to me on this night. Only heavy ideas and a deep satisfaction...
Since centuries christian missionaries are traveling to the most rural places in the world to convert heathens into tamely believers. What legacy do 500 years of proselytisation leave behind? A two-part experience on a small island in the South Pacific. Part One.
Pigs traditionally have an important role in Vanuatu’s kastom system. They are one of the few animals that have not been imported by the Europeans. A poem for these wonderful animals.
Every night the people of Vanuatu indulge in a ritual, they give themselves into the hands of a numbing root that grows up in the mountainous regions. Silently they drink the grey juice and connect with the sprits of the bush, their ancestors.