“Everyone knows. Everything’s changing – language is changing, lifestyles are changing, ideas of respect are changing…” Numaline Mahana – Fieldworker, Tanna.
“The Vanuatu Cultural Centre is a custom bank, where we archive traditional knowledge for future generations.” Jacob Kapere – Men’s Fieldworker Facilitator 2011-2017.
The Vanuatu Cultural Centre’s (VKS) Fieldworker Network is a unique model of sustained indigenous collaborative cultural research and revitalisation spanning more than 4 decades. Iterations of this project, with its network of more than 100 indigenous researchers spread across most of the 83 islands of the Vanuatu archipelago, have undertaken cultural documentation and revitalisation at a scale and scope unparalleled in the Pacific, and perhaps the world.
Dr. Maya Haviland and Bradley Riley collaborated with the National Film, Sound and Photo Unit of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre to make this documentary about this unique initiative.
The film explores the history and purpose of the VKS’ Men and Women’s Fieldworker Network in the face of contemporary social, cultural and environmental change. It features contemporary interviews and archival material gathered over many decades by Vanuatu’s ‘original researchers’, the Fieldworkers. The documentary explores the ways in which this unique network continues to harness the cultural commitment and knowledge of volunteer researchers across the country, contributing to local cultural revitalisation in communities, and shaping the core operating logic and collections of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre.