Indigenous Public Authoring


Indigenous Public Authoring
Traditional Environmental, Ecological and Cultural Knowledge

In November 2012 Giles Lane was invited to take part in the Saem Majnep Memorial Symposium on Traditional Environmental Knowledge at the University of Goroka in Papua New Guinea. Building on several years’ previous collaboration and dialogue with anthropologist Professor James Leach (formerly of the University of Aberdeen, now at the University of Western Australia and the French CNRS), Giles presented some of our work, tools and techniques based on the concept of public authoring and how it could be applied in the context of village-life in Papua New Guinea for recording and sharing traditional environmental, ecological and Cultural Knowledge (commonly referred to as ‘TEK’).

Following the symposium, Giles and James travelled with village elder, Porer Nombo to his village of Reite on the Rai Coast (Madang Province). There we spent a week or so in the village devising a simple pilot experiment using the Diffusion eBook format and some waterproof paper to demonstrate a potential avenue for working with appropriate technologies in jungle villages to record and share knowledge. The experiment was both devised in collaboration with community members and completed by them. The booklets they completed have since been scanned and re-created as shareable publications using bookleteer.

From this successful pilot we aim to develop a highly adaptable toolkit that can be used in diverse situations and contexts.

Team: Giles Lane & James Leach (University of Western Australia/CNRS).
Supported by the Christensen Fund
Begun 2012 | Completed 2014