Visau ni draki (a change in the weather)

2018 | Sound design: James Milsom | Commissioned by Museum of Art and Science (MAAS), Sydney 2018.

Visau ni draki (a change in the weather) is a reflective meditation on daily life in four Fijian coastal villages amidst the loss and displacement associated with climate change: Namarai, Nabukadra and Dugavatu on the island of Viti Levu, the area hardest hit by Cyclone Winston in 2016, and Vunisavisavi, a culturally significant and sacred village on the island of Vanua Levu that will likely to be forced to relocate, due to rising sea levels.

Embodying the pace and rhythms of these communities, this immersive work aims to communicate both existence and fragility of place, customs and ways of being. In doing so highlighting the incongruence of the persistent stress, worry and powerless that permeates it.

The rise of urban living has dampened or deleted the potential for many of us to understand the deep spiritual, cultural and ancestral connection to place that defines the identify and life of many Fijians. This gap can limits the breadth of our empathy and ultimately, our action to combat climate change.

I am interested in experimenting with different methods presenting visual documentary work to elicit empathy and connection between viewer and subject. By repackaging sound, motion and stills collected by myself and others on assignment, I aim to foster a deeper connection about this place, an alternative outcome to the short-lived clicks and shares this content sought in other formats.

In doing so, I hope to question and re-prioritise the modes in which we attempt to engage others in distant problems, impacting distant cultures and people.