In a good Russian tradition, I made ‘official’ stamps for the NIVA TO NENETS project. More experimentation is needed to make better inkpads, but the stamps themselves seem to be perfect!
These are stamps made with the laser-cutter in FabLab Genk. The stamps are cut in grey linoleum and glued on a cutout of its outline in MDF to give it more stability. In a second hand shop I bought a round wooden doorknob for the small stamp. I am still searching for a second handle or knob for the big one. The first inkpad I tried to make was an experiment with tissue paper on a plastic bag and normal ink cartridges that I cut open. It didn’t work out perfectly, but using the small stamp it sometimes came close. For the bigger stamp, the pattern on the tissue paper was too visible. Another problem is that this kind of ink dries so quickly that you can’t keep the inkpad for later use. Again in a second hand shop I found a square tin that fits the big stamp: excellent for a more sustainable inkpad. I used textile paint (this dries much slower) and a piece of felt for this inkpad. I want to make more experiments, for example with specific inkpad-ink and with different kinds of paint, but with these first results I am already happy!
A calendar of the year 2013 has been made for Arctic Peoples Alert, in which images of historical maps of the Nenets region are combined with pictures that I made in November 2012. The first page of this project explains the NIVA TO NENETS project in three languages: Dutch, English and Russian.
Arctic Peoples Alert is the Dutch non-governmental human rights organization standing up for the interest of indigenous Arctic peoples in the countries around the North Pole. Every year a calendar like this is send to donators… So help them helping them, and help yourself in the meantime with one of these nice calendars!
With thanks to Zoia Vylka for helping me with this translation…
In November 2012, I was guided by the Nenets group Ханибиë (Snow Owl in Nenets language) to a wish tree. The women of this performance group first welcomed me in their chum not far from Naryan Mar, where they shared nice food and some interesting anecdotes and songs. These women want their indigenous traditions to be known and appreciated; hence they promote and perform parts of their culture. After I told them about the NIVA TO NENETS project, one of the women cut a red ribbon from her traditional dress and gave it to me. I was surprised and a bit shocked, and pointed a bit pityfully to the empty spot on the beautiful dress. “Don’t worry, I will sew a new ribbon to it with your project in mind,” she assured me. While I firmly held the ribbon in my hands, we posed for a group photo. Then we all together walked through the snow, towards a Nenets wish tree. This tree was completely draped with ribbons, which made a colourful contrast with the surrounding leafless trees. We found a good branch where I could tie my ribbon on. I did this silently in deep concentration and with awareness of the moment itself. Of course I had the NIVA TO NENETS project in mind.
During my first visit to Naryan Mar and Krasnoye for the NIVA TO NENETS project, I had the possibility to travel to some Nenets on the tundra. This was only for a very short visit. I was flashed into a traditional reindeer herding livelihood, and absorbed every second with great joy and appreciation… resulting in hours of remembrance. The herders were friendly and welcoming. When I was notified that it was already time to travel back to the car, my whole body seemed to protest and wished to stay. But on the sledge pulled by reindeer all my muscles were filled with joy again!
I made much more photographs during this short visit. Some can be found in a Facebook album: http://tinyurl.com/c4fvuyg
During the last week of October I gave several guest lessons at the Naryan-Mar Socio-Humanitarian College in the Northwest of Russia (www.nmsgc.org). I lectured not only about the NIVA TO NENETS project and the FOOD RELATED project, but also about Belgium and the Netherlands, and about the social function of art. After one of my presentations, the students wanted to make a group picture with my picnic blanket.
I made small creative questionnaires about the Lada Niva for these students, because I was curious to learn about their feelings for this car. So after my presentations the students filled in the booklets, which were handed out together with small Niva’s made from Belgium chocolate.
The NIVA TO NENETS project was presented at the Participatory Design Conference in Roskilde in a paper presentation, but also during a Picnic-Quiz. In three questions I asked the motivated group of participants about their opinion and concerns related to some side-effects of bringing help to an indigenous people (specifically the Nenets, a semi-nomadic reindeer herding people in the northwest of the Russian Federation). The answers to the quiz-questions were connected to colourful picnic-blankets with matching picnic-snacks.
On Sunday 12th of August a workshop on Human Values within Participatory Design was given during PDC’12 (Participatory Design Conference, Roskilde, Denmark). For a whole day long, approx. 24 people exchanged their experiences with the topic and develloped an approach for a specific case study. Although ‘being human’ is always a main aspect of Participatory Design in general, a specific focus on Human Values leads to interesting discussions and valuable outcomes. Especially when inclusion is one of the goals…
I have presented my cultural probes (FOOD RELATED) and the picnic-quiz (NIVA TO NENETS) during this workshop day. Later this week I will present a short paper about artistic participatory practices.
During a working period as artist in residence at Danish Art Workshops in Copenhagen, I discussed some aspects of my interactive roadmovie NIVA TO NENETS within the format of a picnic-quiz. I asked the participating people five questions, after which they positioned themselves on the picnic-blanket that resembled the answer of their choice. While matching snacks were served, some interesting discussions on paradoxical aspects of bringing help occured. It was a joyful and inspirational afternoon. This was my second time to give such a picnic-quiz and I am very happy with how it went!
The Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples Secreatariat wrote a nice article about this event: http://www.arcticpeoples.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=498:indigenous-day-tribute&Itemid=2
And so did Danish Art Workshops: http://svfk.dk/dk/Service/Nyheder/picnicdebat (only in Danish…)
Vrijdag 8 Juni, Extrapool, Tweede Walstraat 5, 6511 LN Nijmegen, Nederland.
NIVA TO NENETS is een interactieve roadmovie waarvoor Rosanne van Klaveren in 2013 haar Lada Niva naar de Nenets in het noordwesten van Rusland zal rijden. Dit (semi-)nomadische rendierhoudersvolk worstelt met het voortbestaan van traditionele leefwijzen. De kunstenaar wil haar geliefde auto ter ondersteuning aan hen kado doen. Samen met haar publiek onderzoekt zij hoe paradoxaal ‘hulp brengen’ eigenlijk is en welke posities zij ten opzichte van de Nenets in kan nemen. Ieder standpunt is gekoppeld aan een bijpassend picknick-hapje en vormt een mogelijk antwoord op de quiz-vragen. De deelnemers kunnen ter plekke hun positie verdedigen in een geïmproviseerde filmstudio en zodoende een rol spelen in de NIVA TO NENETS roadmovie.
De ‘zaal’ gaat open om 20:30 uur en we starten om 21:00 uur. Extrapool vraagt 5 euro entree.