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Since December 6th we are back in Germany. Our experiences in the Pacific have strongly influenced us. Did you know that the Marshallese way of saying hello has three spellings and three meanings? The “hello” of the Pacific Republic can be written as “Yokwe”, “Iakwe” or “Yakwe” and it means “hello”, but also “I love you.” Or “you are as beautiful as the rainbow is.”
But, no matter how one writes the word, it always means the same thing: hello, love or a rainbow compliment.
Imagine a world in which people greet each other on the street as a matter of course with a confession of love and a rainbow comparison. Palm trees. Sun. Friendliness. Do you think that’s tacky? We understand well. But it is still real. We have worked and lived in this world for almost a year and of course the transition is now hard for us. In this German country, with its speed, restlessness and sometimes incomprehensible anger, we are only slowly beginning to grasp the conditions. Slowly we realize that even in the past we were also often quick, restless and incomprehensibly angry.
If you want to understand our experiences in the Pacific, then read through our film blog, which we will leave online for a while.
Now we are editing the material we brought home. We think it’s going to be a haunting movie about a friendly, distant world that is threatened with destruction and yet will not give up. If you want to stay up to date, follow our Facebook page and subscribe to our newsletter (only in German).
September 8th is a global day to rise for climate action. Activities and demonstrations are planned in more than 70 countries to end the era of fossel fuels and building 100% renewable energy for all. In Germany alone, more than 25 events are planned.
Also here on the Marshall Islands and other Pacific Islands, they are preparing for the 8th of September. Under the slogan #RiseForClimate and #RiseForPacificPawa (“Pawa” – Pidgin English for “Power”), the many small island states unite to support each other, letting the world know: we are not drowning, we are fighting. They fight for the protection of the climate, for the survival of their islands and for their cultural identity. We filmed the preparatory meeting of the environmental organization Jo-Jikum, which is our local partner and part of the global climate movement 350.org. This year’s campaign symbol is Kikonang, a sort of palm leaf windmill. It stands for movement, for renewable energy such as wind and solar energy, for the arts and crafts, which has an important cultural significance here and many reminds them of their childhood, as it is a popular toy on the island states. It is important to tackle the climate crisis globally. There is no industry in the Marshall Islands, and people are the least polluting people due to greenhouse gas emissions. But they are at the frontlines to be affected by the impacts of climate change.
With our workshops, we always make small trips. The voyage told below in the video leads us to the island of Kolol En. We accompanied Jina David, an environmental activist and Councelmen. Together with a group of young people, Jina tested the water quality in the island’s rain reservoirs and at the same time taught the young people how to provide clean water in the future. Jina’s project was made possible by Jo-Jikum and KIO.
Once a year, there is a Marshallese film festival on Majuro. Among the thirteen submissions this year was a short film about “Happiness”, which the young people created from our workshop in Laura. Although it won no prize in the end, it got a thunderous applause from the audience. Here it is. “Happiness” from Laura Highschool Media Team.
For a week, our team member Christina Schulze accompanied a research team led by the Marshallese scientist Mark Stege in their work on the Maloelap Atoll. From this week she brought you a little movie titled “Stewards of the Environment”, which already gives you some of the narrative style and moods of our future movie.
And 13,070 kilometers away from the Maloelap Atoll, the Potsdam (Germany) based musician Marc Schicker composed the music for her video while watching it. Have fun watching and listening.
In the meantime, we had to relocate the Kiribati project to the Marshall Islands, another island state in the region, which faces similar challenges as Kiribati due to climate change. Why this “move” was necessary, you can read all about on our project blog.
The Kiribati Project is our most comprehensive participative film project so far. We are launching our third feature film project together with the people of the islands of the Republic of Kiribati. Due to the melting of the poles and the rise of the sea level, the groundwater stocks of numerous atolls are over-silting, the sea is beating faster than ever before over the islands and threatens to engulf them still in this century.
Our pitching video (last post under this one) tells you about our motives to make this movie.
Again, there is no script, no fixed statement to filch, but instead, the search for the stories that we will explore together with local people in a variety of workshops.
On the island of Tarawa we will start work in January 2018. The area of the Islands of the republic is huge. The islands spread across the vast Pacific Ocean on an area just about the size of the U.S.A. We will try to visit as many islands as possible and invite as many people as possible into the project.
In the course of the year 2018 you can follow the progress of the work on our project blog mauri-kiribati.com.
We are happy to have found a political patron for our project with the member of parliament, Michael Leutert, who has supported us intensively since the planning phase, encouraged us, pointed out possible funding and became a fan of this film project.
And we succeeded, to win Professor Dr. Mojib Latif for the scientific advice for the film, who gave us valuable advice already for the shooting at a first meeting in Hamburg.
We thank Maria Kling of the production “Studio Kalliope“, who believed in this project from the beginning and feared no difficulties and obstacles to get it going.
Together with Maria Kling from Film Production Kalliope (Potsdam, Babelsberg), we have been working on a new full feature film for cinema since the beginning of 2017: we call it the Kiribati project. It will be (again) a participatory film. We gave it the working title: “The do not give way to the waves.”
The film will be shot and edited together with the people of the islands of the Republic of Kiribati. Kiribati is located in the central Pacific. Due to the melting of the poles, the rising sea level threatens to flood the islands in historical short time to come. But the future of the republic is still unwritten. Not a few believe that it will inevitably sink. Others think the islands can be saved. For our film crew, Kiribati is also a symbol, a warning to the world. If we do not finally learn to treat our planet with respect, it will put us in front of unimaginable difficulties everywhere. The flood in one place is the drought in another place.
Update: In the meantime, we had to relocate this project to the Marshall Islands, another island state in the region, which faces similar challenges as Kiribati due to climate change. Why this “move” was necessary, you can read all about on our project blog.
Here you can watch the pitching video on the new film project of Studio Kalliope and the Kameradists. A warm thank you goes out to camera operator Raimon Kataotao und Mike Roman from the “Humans of Kiribati” for the material they shared with us. The photo in the slider of our site was taken by “Humans of Kiribati” / Sandra Dương “The hungry tide at Betio”.
You may want to share this Pitcher by klicking on this link and downloading it and uploading it onto your website or social network site.
“No Rest. No Haste” was selected for the 12th Film Festival delle Terre in Rome and is in competition on October 12 (8 pm). The scene of our film, in which the human rights lawyer Antenor Ferreyra speaks of the struggle against the ruling class, is now to be seen in the official trailer of the festival.
Since fourteen months the workers of the local radio station ERA on the island of Zakinthos have occupied their station. After the TV and radio stations of the former Greek state broadcaster ERT started to become a major protagonists of the public criticism of the Troika and the Greek government policies, the Greek government decided to close down the stations. more
7/28/2013: This week Sachamanta will be screened by a television broadcasting station for the first time. On Thursday August 1st 2013 6pm and on Friday August 2nd 2.30am the Greek public TV station ERT-Open – currently occupied by its workers – will screen our documentary Sachamanta with Greek subtitles. more
23/03/2013 : Germany is not a country. It is a puzzle of many worlds. Some fight for a base salary. Others fight boredom. Refugees are freezing in Berlin. Around the corner a design award is presented over champagne and caviar. The stocks are falling. Rents are going up. In Bochum Opel is shutting down. Open is the future. more
2/13/2013: Sachamanta is shown in selected movie theaters and at festivals. On the other hand, every community center, each seminar room, every classroom and any youth club can be turned into a cinema. So if you want to show the film yourself, just get yourself a projector and a monitor and write us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. more
2/1/2013: Who wants to make radio requires the necessary resources. Transmission towers and frequencies are not for download on the net. However, a fine piece of software is. more
1/27/2013: About four weeks the Kameradists were traveling in Argentina to bring back to the Campesinos their own cinematic history (Sachamanta) as well as the reactions of the german audience on this story. We were accompanied by the support of hundreds of people at home. more
7/21/2012: The north of Argentina in the year 2000: At a congress the peasant and indigenous communities organized within the Movimiento Campesino in Santiago del Estero (MoCaSe-Via Campesina) decided something previously unheard of: They will build and operate their own radio stations. more
5/22/2012: Region of Santiago del Estero, April, a summer night in 2010: I saw the courageous people dancing. They danced to their favorite music from their radios. Bare feet swirling dust. Hands find hands. Lights flash through the darkness. more
4/22/2012: Sachamanta is nearing completion, but there is still a whole lot to do. At the moment, we are in the final production stages, but still need to do have the following tasks: stabilization, conversion, color correction (adjustment of light and color is necessary because the raw material was taken in different years), embedding the film music, sound design, and completion of the animation sequences. more
3/26/2012: In many ways Sachamanta is not a typical documentary: The film’s concept was not clearly set in stone before shooting, but was developed as we watched the raw footage; The interviews were partly created by the interviewees themselves; The film’s story is told four times in different ways, without repetition. more