A two-day film project on the internal migration of Marshallese youth highlighted culture, challenges, and solutions in the outer islands and atolls.
A total of 12 participants from college and high school were recruited, with the help of CMI first-year and Ri-Majuro Molly Alik, for this International Office of Migration (IOM) and Okeanos collaboration.
These 12 young voices transposed the beauty of Mejit, Arno, Wotje, Ebon, Namu, Kwajalein-Ebeye and Jaluit accompanied by resilient music from Likiep. While filming on the Okeanos, the participants were taught traditional weaving, chants, and the significance of a clean mother ocean by the crew.
It gives them a sense of pride and respect for their own culture, said project co-director Patsy Glad.
Cinematographer Chewy Lin successfully captured the 12 young people and their unique personalities, self-identity, and values shaped by their upbringing. Wotje’s young handcraft makers believed that amimono is who we are; it gives us something beautiful and a time for bonding, they articulated. Likiep’s voices sang about not giving up on our islands, to work together to find ways to save them.
Co-director Anfernee Nanol Kaminaga told the Journal that the project demonstrated “how important it is to really look at your surroundings…We Marshallese are unique people and for us to speak to the world is such a big deal — we need to take every opportunity we get.”
Read more about this in the August 24, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.