Writing for The Equal Times, journalist Carmen Grau interviews Ainu leaders Fumio Kimura, Shizue Ukaji,
On 18 and 19 December, CEMiPoS will co-host two webinars in collaboration with the Amareya Theatre & Guests (Gdansk, Poland). We express our gratitude to all of the guest speakers, moderators, interpreters and viewers for participating in our webinars. We are looking forward to discussing both historical and contemporary topics for moving art and critical discourse forward by making networks beyond borders.
The miraculous meeting of the late 19th century between exiled Polish Bronisław Piłsudski and the Ainu in Karafuto (Sakhalin) has been revealed through international scholarly work since the wax cylinder in which Piłsudski recorded the Ainu language was found in the 1970s. The aforesaid meeting further inspired Polish, Ainu and Japanese peoples in the 21st century, which has lead to achievements such as the publication of books and joint performances between Amareya Theatre & Guests and Ainu women. In the 1st webinar titled “The Ainu people meet the Poles: The legacy of Bronisław Piłsudski in contemporary Poland and Japan”, prominent guest speakers will discuss how this historical figure and the meeting between the two peoples influences the present and is being revisited by academic researchers, artists and ethnographers both on the Polish and the Ainu/Japanese side.
In recent years an international exchange programme between artists called art-in-residence has been developed in the world. Indigenous artists in the Nordic countries produce their works in connection with decolonization in the art-in-residence. Amareya Theatre & Guests in Poland, together with the artists associated with this programme for many years, have been working to support minorities and express solidarity with women who face different forms of oppression and discrimination. Although Ainu culture is characterised as a “traditional culture” by the authorities in Japan, members of the Ainu Women’s Association have performed contemporary dance and theatre with Amareya Theatre since 2017 to emancipate themselves from colonialism inside their bodies and minds. In the 2nd webinar titled “Women’s Voices: Art and Activism”, distinguished guest speakers will speak about art and culture that encourages marginalized people to fight against colonialism, racism and sexism and enables minorities to voice their concerns, speak their identity and propose new solutions in local and international dialogues.
To find a list of speakers and follow the webinars live, you can find the Facebook Events through the following links: