Culture, language & identity…

Today was post production day for NAT films and further content creation for the internet site, NA Nirit and Annabel hooked up a projector and began editing the kids footage with them. Gill worked on more screensavers and downloadable desk tops with Chris and Felix and Lucy worked on creating some flash animated poetry with the other Chris (there are two in the class!) and Isaiah.

The poems and the images which will be flash animated (actually digital photos of paintings) have been donated to the Rez sites Poets corner and gallery by poet Mike the medicine man horse, governor of the school and full time artist.


In the afternoon, Nirit, Murray and Lucy were taken on a tour of the area by Mike. While he drove he talked to the camera about his community and his views on the culture, language, identity issues that they face. This is a community where there has been one culture or another trying to oppress them for eons.

Their language is dying and a great deal of their cultural roots have certainly been up rooted. Therefore these issues loom large. Mike is both optimistic while realizing the enormity of the problems. A charismatic man, Mike even took us to his house, in the village where he was chief for a while, stopping off to show us his workshop, where he paints.

Though not so much in the summer because of the oppressive heat and dust storms. No air conditioning in there! The streets were quiet, no-one out in the afternoon heat. As Mike rightly pointed out, only mad dogs and Englishmen step out in the afternoon sun. Although we met a few Rez dogs, it seemed to us that even they were smart enough to be in a cool shade somewhere.

A taste of India:

Jon, Murray, Felix, Nirit and Lucy were treated to another special evening meal by the school tonight. Jagdish invited us to his favorite Indian restaurant. Annabel and Gill were invited too of course, but were tired and stayed in the hotel.

Kate was there and Mike and his son came too. The food was fine, the English in the crew enjoying what is apparently now the national dish of England, an Indian curry. Table talk revolved around future plans to link up between Jons education projects in the UK and the projects running over here. Lucy, Murray and Isaiah (Mikes son) discussed music, games and world politics (this 11 year old is tuned in) and on the drive back Nirit and Lucy drove with Kate where the talk turned to Hip Hop in the Arizona area and where the cheapest music stores are. A tired crew went back to the hotel around 10.30. So well behaved!