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HAVINI, Taloi; Habitat

Habitat 2018 is a multichannel video installation that critically addresses the representation of landscape and conflicting interests in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The earliest iterations of this series, entitled Habitat: Konawiru 2016 and Habitat 2017, used dramatic image sequencing as part of large-scale projections, together with immersive surround sound. Evoking a sense of loss and displacement, these works explore Bougainville landowners’ experiences of mining operations at Panguna in Central Bougainville, which were operated by Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), a subsidiary of Conzinc Rio Tinto Australia, from 1966 to 1989.

Commissioned for the APT9 Women’s Wealth project, this new iteration of Habitat explores relationships of history, identity, nation-building and environmentalism in Bougainville’s matrilineal societies. Archival footage, originally collected by news agencies and colonial powers, is re-deployed alongside Havini's own recordings and family archives in the retelling of Australia and Bougainville’s complex shared history. According to Havini:

The work will investigate and interrogate the colonial relationship between Australia and Bougainville from a matrilineal point of view, providing international audiences with context and understanding of the vibrancy of indigenous women’s cultural practice and connection to the land in these locales.