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Tapa of Pacific Hopes

Surrounded by artifacts of the Pacifics in our home, I’ve always been drawn particularly to the two tapa barkcloth we have. A traditional craft, tapa is made mainly by females who pound a single strip of tree bark to a fabric-like thinness. Then it is painted using Earth pigments with patterns that communicate the identity and history of each clan or tribe, along with the natural elements of the surrounding oceanic environment. Tapa can be used as ceremonial clothing, as well in the home.

This is an artwork that i made recycling newspaper articles of climate pessimism into new paper, then drawing my own tapa pattern on it, which subtly spells out SOS. Incorporated into the tapa patterns are texts of some positive messages and solutions implemented by Pacific Islanders in their fight against climate change.

Pacific communities are actively seeking solutions through a mix of traditional practices, indigenous knowledge, and modern technology. Some of these solutions include seaweed composting, growing salt and drought tolerant crops, planting vegetation to reduce flooding and erosion, mangrove preservation, and creating conservation forests. Through my artwork, I aim to highlight also the positive strides these communities are making in the face of adversity.

Story Information:

Country: Papua New Guinea

Topic: Climate change (general)

Photo or video credit: Ruben C

Text Credit: Ruben C

Date : 5 June 2023

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