Sunday, October 12, 2003

Wet Indigenous Day in Brooklyn.

I must write some ideas down and reply to Magnus's email about that quirky Saami-M project. His colleague Christina wants to include performance. Good idea of course - Kanhailal's allegory "With the Children of God"? - but more money to raise. Which doesn't seem to hold back my Swedish friends' enthusiasm for my idea. But they seem to think that with the Museum of Far East Antiquities, Museum of Ethnography and Stockholm U, we might go to the Swedish Institute. They haven't mentioned Jokkmokk Museum up in the Arctic Circle so far, but I think that's probably the best part yet. I just have to remember Magnus' remark that Saami-Swedish relations are just as complex and fraught with cultural suspicion as Manipuri-Indian ones are.

Maybe even a film might come out of this if we follow up Anders' idea. I guess this will put me back in touch with Lars. I liked him but, boy, was that last Swedish initiative of mine a disaster. Scuttled by Phil's tantrums and by new-broom Claus who wanted to go with Sundance - and I heard THAT one was a disaster too. There may be something to this dharma-karma business after all.

I haven't heard back from Professor Gangumei so until then, I am a little wary about how it will be seen politically there. Heaven forbid I do a Scheuer there, you know, like walk in with all sorts of fancy ideas and money as we did in Israel, and expect people to fall in line and put aside generations of animosity and distrust and make nicey-nicey for us.

I must get over to Sweden for a meeting. Maybe during Gotegorg? Elisabeth didn't sound too confident about it from here, so maybe I have to get it leveraged from over there. And what if, inshallah, Al and I have to go to Manipur for the shoot in February? Damn, I need help before I spread myself too thin. And I need to get real money coming in real soon. Om mani mani cum.

But I do think using culture as a basis for conflict resolution is worth trying. My proposal for AppalSeeds in Gangtok shaped up well. I find many ideas and terminologies i have been using coming back to me. Funny how things can be set in motion and how words and ideas take root. Like remapping. That came from Bobbie during our dinner as I was describing my ideas of regional cultural exchange across borders. Now the more I use it the more it seems real.

I think Appalshop really likes the project now. I mean as a group, it has gathered its own resonance and can't be reduced to a cultural junket. It was reassuring to hear Mimi on the subject during that conference call on Friday. And in Tom's notes for is presentation on Nov 10. I think they see me more than just another New Yorker now. I like that.