Researched and speculated on the North Sulawesi where once belief that the first person was a woman and gave birth through a stone, Wa’anak Witu Watu investigates the fiction, myth, and cosmology of the Minahasan and their relation to the geo entity stone. The indigenous practice of Minahasa tribe—where humans celebrate their form of communication with stone—is understood as only a pre-institutionalised religion practice and categorised as animist belief. However, for people living there they see themself practicing monotheism. There are almost no boundaries between Life and Non-Life in Minahasa cosmology.
The stone-revering Minahasa were organised according to the gift economy of Mapalus, which was based on volunteerism, kinship with nature and mutual aid. According to native cosmology, the first person ever to exist was a woman who gave birth through a stone. With the presence of colonialists from the West and their interactions with the locals, the Minahasans evolved to a stone-based exchange system that was informed by a mixture of their ancient spiritual beliefs and the Christian-influenced capitalist ideas.
In this work, the dynamic of Minahasan cosmology is explored alongside its potential to imagine an alternative world where the phenomena of anthropocentrism practically does not exist. Seeing the dynamics of Minahasa worldview through the perspective of digital culture, speculating on its potential for imagining an alternative society based on a reciprocity that brings together animate and inanimate realms.
Work supported by:
Other Futures and transmediale
Sound Design by Wahono (Divisi 62)
Animation Studio by DDDBandidos
Wa’anak Witu Watu is presented as part of STRAY VOLTAGE, KINGS Artist-Run’s iterative video program, collaboratively facilitated by Rebecca McCauley and Aaron Claringbold. Looking to the potential that exists between seemingly incompatible ideas, STRAY VOLTAGE premises an experimental program of critically engaged moving image works, fundamentally grounded by the earth.
STRAY VOLTAGE is supported by the City of Melbourne 2022 Annual Arts Grants Program.
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