Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Ainu Moshir-Ainu Womb:The Stories of Indigenous Women- Workshops and Performances by Teatr Amareya (Poland) and the Ainu Women's Association

From 7-12 October 2018, the Ainu Women's Association and Cemipos will collaborate with Poland's Teatr Amareya to put on a workshop series and performances on the topic of the Indigenous Women and storytelling. Special emphasis will be given to the stories of Ainu Women in their homeland, Ainu Moshir. These workshops and performances are open to any wishing to participate and learn more about the stories of Ainu Women, and the power of storytelling through movement and performance.

REGISTER HERE: https://form.jotformeu.com/822152796683363

The Project
Under the direction of Teatr Amareya, the Sapporo workshop will utilize the tools of theater and dance to tell the stories of indigenous and minoritzed women. The project will be accompanied by Louise Fontain, an Inuit storyteller who has harnessed the craft of performance to address issues of system violence and exile, particularly against women in their communities. The mission of this project is combine the expertise of Amareya and Fontain through the workshops and cultivate a performance telling the stories that Ainu women have to bring forward. The performance will be titled AINU MOSHIR-AINU WOMB and will premiere following the conclusion of the multi-day workshop. In addition to the performance of AINU MOSHIR-AINU WOMB, there will be a performance of NOMADIC WOMAN, an award-winning project of Teatr Amareya. 

Furthermore, the project will ultimately culminate in the publication of a book led by Dr. Katarzyna Pastuzak, Dr. Monika Popow, and Dr. Aleksandra Sliwinska, all of Teatr Amareya, alongside Ryoko Tahara of the Ainu Women's Association and Professor Hiroshi Maruyama of Cemipos. 

The Mission
The project focuses on the dissemination, transmission, and preservation of the rich cultural heritage of the Indigenous ethnic minority of the Ainu living in Japan. It also aims at empowering Ainu women who suffer from doubled discrimination based on gendered views that have pervaded from mainstream society. The project will also work towards continuing to build a transcultural Asian-European creative and supportive community that works towards empowering and decolonizing ethnic minorities. 

Teatr Amareya

These workshops and performances will be put on by Teatr Amareya, one of the leading avantgarde theaters in Poland. The theater places emphasis on the exploration of the power of corporeal movement and storytelling through the body. Though based in Gdansk, the theater and its projects feature guests from all over the world. The theater has been particularly devoted to cultivating a cultural cooperation between Poland and Japan. 

The projects of Teatr Amareya have been the recipients of numerous awards and high acclaim. Specifically, the project NOMADIC WOMAN was nominated for the prestigious prize "Splendor Gedanensis" and in 2017 it won the 2nd audience prize at the Festival Pestka in Jelenia Gora, Poland. NOMADIC WOMAN is inspired by the life story of Louise Fontain, and Inuit woman from Greenland. Through the lens of Fontain's life, the performance explores the inner and outer migration women must take, and the exile to which they are often subject in the process. It is a contemporary epic about rebirth and return, as felt and experienced by women. In 2017, NOMADIC WOMAN was brought to Japan and featured the integration of Tsugumi Matsudaira, an Ainu woman, into the performance. The collaboration between Tsugumi, in addition with another Ainu artist Utae Ehara will see another iteration on 12 October 2018 at the Sapporo Pirka Kotan following the 5-day workshop on storytelling and movement. 

7-11 October: 
Workshop and development of performance (AINU MOSHIR-AINU WOMB) with the Ainu Women's Association at Higashi Honganji Temple at Mt. Moiwa, Sapporo. 

12 October
Performances of AINU MOSHIR-AINU WOMB and NOMADIC WOMAN in the Culture Exchange Hall, Pirka Kotan, Sapporo. 

This project is organized by the Ainu Women's Association and is supported by The Centre for Environmental and Minority Policy Studies


Friday, 23 February 2018

We reported the five-day art and academic event held in Sapporo in 2017

Last evening, Ryoko and I reported what the five-day art and academic event in Sapporo was. The venue was a classroom administered by the Sapporo Freedom School, Non-Profit Organisation which provides the citizens of Sapporo with chargeable courses regarding problems facing civil society in Japan. I felt happy to share the outcomes of the event with people taking our course. In my area in Sapporo, the snow lay 104 centimetres deep. It is almost the average year value.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The name card for participants

Chiyomi Fujioka, member of the Ainu Women's Association, completed designing the name card of participants in the International Conference on Policy towards Indigenous Peoples: Lessons to be learned, and corresponding Indigenous Workshop/Art Exhibition/Performance to be held in Sapporo from 30 November - 4 December. The design hints an owl representing the most important god for the Ainu who protects the Ainu community. In addition, she is a designer of contemporary Ainu patterns. Participants are privileged to get her original name card.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

One more extended programme of the International Conference in Sapporo

The organising committee of the International Conference on Policy towards Indigenous Peoples will host two extended programmes in addition to the International Conference itself, and corresponding Indigenous Workshop/Art Exhibition/Performance. One of them is the excursion to Nibutani, which was announced on 21 October 2017 on this blog. Another one is the following two lectures to be held on 3 December in Sapporo Freedom School:

Madoka Hammine, Ph.D student, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
Educated not to be able to speak your own language? 

Yuito Okada, Epidemiologist, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Cancer Epidemiology Program
Health Activism in Japan and Hawaii; Could UNDRIP promote indigenous health?

Those two extended programmes aim to share the outcomes of the International Conference with local people and civil society. In addition, Madoka is from Ishigaki Island in the Ryukyu Islands. Yuito graduated from a university in Okinawa, and lived in Hokkaido. They kindly help us interpret presentations at session 4: Indigenous women on the front line into Japanese. We are happy to work with those promising young Japanese researchers who study abroad. 

Friday, 10 November 2017

The front and back covers of our abstract book

The front and back covers of our abstract book were finally designed by Tomoko Mitsuno, Yoko Sasaki and Tomas Colbengtson. It may be the first outcome produced by the collaboration between Ainu and Sami peoples for the conference and corresponding Indigenous art event in Sapporo. The design has a poetic story. What do you think is the story? In addition, Anna Petrétei, member of the organising committee, is editing the abstract book in Rovaniemi Finland.


Saturday, 21 October 2017

Call for participants in an excursion to Nibutani

The Council for Invigorating Local Communities in Biratori town has made its programme of a two-day excursion to Nibutani, the Ainu dominated community in Biratori town, in cooperation with the municipality of the town. They are calling for participants in the excursion. The programme targets international participants in the five-day event to be held in Sapporo from 30 November to 4 December: the International Conference on Policy towards Indigenous Peoples: Lessons to be learned, and the Indigenous Art Workshop. The deadline for the application is the end of October.

Those participants in the programme will be guided to the Saru River, which is called a cradle of Ainu culture in the Saru area, Dr. Neil Gordon Munro' residence, Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum, and so on by an exclusively reserved bus. In addition, Dr. Munro had lived in Nibutani for nine years since 1933 as a medical doctor and a researcher on Ainu culture. He is still revered by local residents in Nibutani for his devoted medical service for Ainu people, and for his friendship with them. The Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum (http://www.town.biratori.hokkaido.jp/biratori/nibutani/) displays lots of Ainu cultural properties collected by the late folklorist Shigeru Kayano out of his own pocket for future generations of Ainu people. 

The exclusively reserved bus will pick participants up near Sapporo Station at 9:30 am on 5 December and drop some of them off at 3 pm at the Chitose airport and others at 5 pm in Sapporo on 6. A member of the Council for Invigorating Local Communities in Biratori town is likely to come to the International Conference with detailed information on the excursion. She will certainly be at the registration of the International Conference in the morning on 2. In addition, the organising committee of the International Conference does not take responsibility for the programme. Hopefully, those who are interested in the programme will contact the following email address or FB account.  

Accessible Farm Inn Kumasanso

Dr. Munro's residence in Nibutani

Friday, 13 October 2017

Tomas Colbengtson is preparing for the Indigenous Art Workshop in Sapporo

Tomas Colbengtson is preparing for the two-day Indigenous Art Workshop to be held on 30 November and 1 December at Sapporo Pirka Kotan with other artists: Lena Stenberg, Antonie Frank, Britta Marakatt Labba, Anni-Linn Fjällström Israelsson, Marie Persson, Matti Aiko, Juli Edel Hardenberg and Amanda Kernell.