Unity through Culture
Christian Suhr (Aarhus University)
Ton Otto (University of Aarhus)
Paper short abstract:
Should 'culture' be revived? Can it unite the people? Will it attract international tourism? Or does it in fact belong to the white man? Is culture destroying tradition? A film about 'culture' and 'tradition' and the Balopa Cultural Festival in Papua New Guinea.
Paper long abstract:
Soanin Kilangit is determined to unite the people and attract international tourism through the revival of culture on Baluan Island in the South Pacific. He organizes the largest cultural festival ever held on the island. But some traditional leaders argue that Baluan never had culture. Culture comes from the white man and is now destroying their old tradition. Others, however, take the festival as a welcome opportunity to revolt against '70 years of cultural oppression' by Christianity. A struggle to define the past, present and future of Baluan culture erupts to the sound of thundering log drum rhythms.