Life on the River

    Sepik and Amazon: Ambonwari and Murui

    Start 05 June 2017, 9:00am
    End 30 June 2017, 5:00pm

    The lives of the Ambonwari people of Papua New Guinea in the Sepik and Murui people of Colombia in the Amazon are both defined and made possible by the rivers on which they live their days. This exhibition explores the idea of life on the river, and the understandings and relationship that we – JCU researchers – have forged with our collaborators and interlocutors in these places. Both river basins, Sepik and Amazon, share unique but similar ecological features and cultural values. This exhibition shows commonalities and differences in more practical terms, through lived experience of the life on the river. The themes include canoe making, fishing, hunting, and food preparation. Through joint collection of photographs, videos, collages, drawings, and personal objects, the exhibition presents our fieldwork experiences, research methods, and collaborative approaches, as well as engaging important ecological and social issues happening in the tropics..

    Presented by ALTAR members: Daniela Vavrova, Kasia Wojtylak, and Kristian Lupinski

    5–30 June 2017 | The Cairns Institute | Building D3 | McGregor Road, Smithfield, QLD 4871

    Daniela Vávrová

    Dr Daniela Vávrová

    Daniela was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, 1978. Along with her interest in different cultures, she explores the relationship between anthropology and visual communication, between written accounts, photography and ethnographic filmmaking. Since 2005 her field site is situated in the Ambonwari village of East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. Her PhD thesis and film, 'Skin Has Eyes and Ears': an audio-visual ethnography in a Sepik society (2014), explores how people shape and are shaped by their social and cultural environment through their sensory experiences. She is adjunct research fellow and the director of The AV Lab and ALTAR at The Cairns Institute and College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University.

    Kasia Wojtylak

    Kasia Wojtylak

    Kasia, born in Poland in 1986, is a PhD student in Anthropological Linguistics at Language and Culture Research Centre at JCU. She documents the language of the Murui people and is in the process of completing a detailed grammar of the Murui language for her PhD thesis. Since 2009, she spent almost two years living in many remote villages of the Murui in the Colombian parts of the Amazon Basin. 

    Kristian Lupinski

    Kristian Lupinski

    Kristian Lupinski, born in the United States in 1985, is a passionate filmmaker, a graduate of JCU's Bachelors of Creative Industries. In 2016 he led an audiovisual documentation project of Murui oral literature in the Murui village of Tercera India community in southern parts of Colombia. Currently, together with Kasia, he is working on the feature documentary film Kaɨ Murui Uai - Our Murui Words.

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