PROJECT35, read “project*SANGO” (sango means “coral” in Japanese, and the numbers 3 and 5 are read “san” and “go” respectively), is a transpacific Oceanic concept based on the cultural, social, historical, and environmental analogy of the coral that continues to build islands, atolls, and archipelagoes throughout the world. Like the coral polyps that navigate the vast ocean and build links between places, we humans connect with each other, leave behind contradictory layers of history, and establish our own metaphorical reefs, islands, archipelagoes, and oceans.
As a network of artists, researchers, students, and activists, we hope to use art, scholarship, media, and creativity to facilitate a conversation between Pacific Islanders throughout Oceania and their counterparts in communities in Japan and other parts of Asia. We hope that artists, writers, performers, scholars, filmmakers, designers, and various others can join together to raise awareness about Oceania, especially themes of climate change/environment, nuclear issues, decolonization, demilitarization, gender, and education. Our project was launched in Japan, itself an archipelago of over 6,800 islands and focused mainly on Micronesia, a region whose islands have endured imperialism, militarism, and nuclear testing up until recently, with a long history of both Japanese and American colonialism. More recently, however, we have been networking with artists in Tonga, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tahiti (French Polynesia), and Kanaky (New Caledonia), and Taiwan; and we have also connected with diasporic Pacific artists in Aotearoa-New Zealand, all of whom share similar interests and concerns. We aim to help amplify the voices of indigenous people throughout the region, while working together to create new partnerships that transcend nationalism and state borders.
If you are interested in volunteering your skills and ideas to PROJECT35, you are more than welcome to become a part of this growing initiative. We will continue to add content to this site, but in the meantime, please do not hesitate to send us an email. Please also join our Facebook group.