Contesting traditions, land and resources in Papua New Guinea
Research into a Port Moresby festival celebrating the historic hiri trade between Papuans in the Moresby area and the Gulf quickly became much more complicated than anticipated. Ownership of the festival is contested between the city government and its newly-established tribal assembly, and a village which argues it is the true authority of the hiri legend and all associated activity. Going deeper, there’s much more at stake than rights to the legend: from the Motu-Koita villagers’ land rights in the city and surrounds, to the violent conflict over the latest capital influx and resource royalty bonanza which is transforming life in PNG.
Peter Phipps is senior lecturer in Global Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne, Director of the Honours Program and a founding member of the Globalism Research Center. He undertook post-graduate training in cultural anthropology at the University of California Berkeley, and completed a PhD on the cultural politics of postcolonial theory at the University of Melbourne. He has published work on Indigenous festivals, tourism and the politics of cultural globalization. He has worked with community organizations and government bodies including the PNG Department for Community Development, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board (Australia Council), UNDP (Sarajevo) and the Yothu Yindi Foundation. Most recently he wrote on ethnic cultural precincts for the City of Melbourne and Victorian Multicultural Commission, and a project at Warlayirti Art Center at Balgo in the West Australian desert.
CCS talk: Friday November 2 2012, 4pm Laurie Grove CR