Maloelap calling

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.

The work of the research team around Mark Stege has been made possible by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Marshall Islands Conservation Society.

Camera is running and running and running

We went to Rita. From here you can not drive on. Majuro’s main road ends here. (*1) From this point you can look over to the next islands of the atoll, which are arranged around the lagoon. Our workshop participants Hanson and Ronny chose the location for their interview. Both grew up here in Rita, but now live in the town-center of Majuro. We set up the tripod, set up the big Canon and check the sound. Ok, are you ready? “Audio picks up.” “Camera is running.” Let’s go.

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kickoff meeting for workshops

April, 18th: We have been feverishly looking forward to this day, it is the first major information event to enlist participants for our participative film project. We had been working a lot for publicity for this meeting in advance. We placed ads on Facebook and sent a bulk SMS to all cell phone owners on the island. The Marshall Islands Journal wrote about us and Mark was a guest on a live broadcast on the radio. The city was full of our flyers and there was quite a lot of word of mouth recommendation.

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Known all over the place

Much has happened since our last entry. On the 2nd of April we got our visas for a whole year. From this moment we could really start. There is a lot going on right now. Today we want to tell you briefly about the biggest upcoming event, on which we are currently working at full speed.

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First shooting

Nuclear bombs were the first serious threat to the existence of the Marshall Islands. 67 (in words: sixty seven!) nuclear fusion and nuclear fission bombs the US detonated over parts of ‘their’ former UN trust territory. Quite a few here say the new bomb, which threatens the Marshall Islands now will hardly be less destructive. They are talking about climate change. It will not contaminate the land. It will devour it.

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Abatao

Officially we are still “tourists” and it’s weekend again. So we do the Cultural Tour to Abatao and get to know this side of the island. Abatao is the second island of North Tarawa, and the first one that can not be reached via a bridge. It is already considered an Outer Island. It is a foretaste on the other remoter islands of Kiribati.

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Uncertainty Relation

It was low tide and we went out into the lagoon. We had spotted 3 children sitting like little dots on a small sandy elevation in the shallow water. We wanted to get near and see what they were doing, greet them with “Mauri” and take a few pictures. When we arrived, we saw that they were digging for shells in the mud, collecting them in their plastic bowls. In between they again and again jumped into the azure shallow water for some refreshment. The oldest of the three boys may have been 7, the youngest hardly 5 years old. We say “Mauri”, but hardly get noticed. Only one boy gives us a broad smile. We stoop down and start digging too. Viviana and little Maira are soon successful.

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In principle: holidays

On January 4, 2018, our small team arrived at the small airport on Tarawa. After three days of travel, we were finally there.

When the plane was still in the air, we had flattened our noses against the windows. In the midst of the azure blue vastness of the Pacific Ocean, which we had flown over for hours from Fiji, there was suddenly some pieces of land deep down there. Circular the shape, the tiny atolls arranged themselves on the caldera of an ancient volcano. Hard to imagine that there should be space enough for the landing of the jet. But there was space and we landed noisily. The thickest heat shot through the open hatches. After we had crossed the runway on foot and finally came to the customs office, the young officers began to use their mobiles frantically. From the office of the President they received the information: “Send them all back to Fiji.” What happened?

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