Fraide < > Friday / by Charlotte Haywood

Monopoly board, culture clash.

Monopoly board, culture clash.

Patrice Cujo Maps Blong Vanuatu

Patrice Cujo
Maps Blong Vanuatu

Patrice Cujo Woven detail

Patrice Cujo
Woven detail

PatriceCujo.jpg
Oberon stoked with his iguana shoulders

Oberon stoked with his iguana shoulders

Our agenda for the day was to touch base with Edgar, propose our idea and collaboration, followed by palm leaf weaving, Foundation Bastienne and Digicel.

We pitched our ideas to Edgar. We were also aware of his time that we would need and had decided we would offer him a fee. He was interested and understood that it would be some sort of a creative process. 

We had decided that to contrast the old and new, the natural and the introduced, we would create a video of Edgar sand-droing in front of the telecommunication towers of Digicel. This was later to be on our agenda and a proposal for Sarg, the head IT contact there.

Another quick lunch at the markets and we went to visit the contemporary art space Foundation Suzanne Bastien. An interesting light filled warehouse type space. It housed beautiful representations of contemporary Ni- Vanuatu artworks by the artist Patrice Cujo. Incorporating traditional weaving techniques and cartography. Representational of the importance of land in kastom.

Digicel, boardroom meeting. A world away from Vanuatu. Where were we? Sarg gave us the lay of the land in regards to telecommunication, mobiles and smart phones. As most of the Islands were without electricity or had limited amounts, to charge a smart phone was simply out of the question. I  found this incredibly interesting as an overlay of how "we" perceive there to be solutions and technologies that will connect and enhance, without realising the fundamental infrastructures. I found this to be a common theme of applying "our" reflections upon the landscape.

Vanuatu has impressed me with it's self sufficiency and happiness. I wonder if the intrusion of the global economy and seduction of western consumer lifestyles could lead to further degradation of the environment and dissatisfaction.