Knowing (2015) is a film by artist Alana Jelinek.
The film is best experienced when downloaded onto a phone or tablet computer, watched on a portable device with earphones that whisper the stories told.
For Knowing, I invited groups of people from various backgrounds to talk about the historical collections held by the Volkenkunde Museum, Leiden (National Museum of World Cultures) with a particular focus on the collections from West Papua.
People from Papuan, Javanese and Dutch backgrounds living in the Netherlands and UK were invited to choose objects from the collection and talk about them. Each participant spoke about objects from their culture and from the other cultures. In the end, twenty two hours of footage were shot so the choice became whether to make a 22 hour art film that no one would watch or to reduce all the various stories, relationships and knowledge to the more engaging length of 48mins. The latter option was chosen.
West Papua is the western half of the island of New Guinea, which lies to the north of Australia. The eastern half of the island is Papua New Guinea. West Papua has been part of Indonesia since 1963. Prior to that, it was a Dutch colony.
Languages : English, Dutch, Indonesian, Sentani and other Papuan languages.
For more information about the larger research project, Pacific Presences, please see PacificPresences.org
A review of the film's UK launch can be seen on cam.ac.uk/news/knowing-me-knowing-you
This film is an outcome of the European Research Council project "Pacific Presences: Oceanic Art and European Museums" 2013-2018.