June 2015 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of Bronislaw Malinowski’s first arrival in the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea. Ever since then, his seminal work has put the Massim region on the anthropological map, making it one of the most assiduously studied places of the social sciences universe. Malinowski has led the way for countless other researchers to the islands and mainland regions of the Milne Bay Province in the last 100 years. His influence and that of the Massim on anthropological practice and theory remains a long lasting and ongoing one.
Jordan Haug is joining the ranks of those "countless other researchers" and was invited to speak at the anniversary conference in Alotau, Milne Bay Province, PNG, which was organized by Dr. Sergio Jarillo de la Torre. You may download the conference program by clicking on the cover image below:
The title of Jordan's presentation was Cultivating Hope After Mine Closure in Misima, which he gave on the second day of the conference just after the lunch break around 1:00PM. The following is an abstract:
In places where extractive industries have left an indelible mark, eroding infrastructures and disappearing economic opportunities following project closures often contribute to crises of hope. Hope for future equality with people in wealthier parts of the world seems no longer practical. Through ethnographic research in Misima, Papua New Guinea, this project seeks to answer the pressing question of how people in these communities value equality and hope for its realization in times of dramatic geopolitical and economic decline.
In 2004, the small island of Misima became the site of one of the most significant industrial mine closures in Oceania. Since that time, the possibilities for the island’s geopolitical, infrastruc- tural, and economic advancement have dramatically declined. In spite of this foreclosure of opportunity and increased isolation, many Misimans hope for better futures where they are able to obtain geopolitical, infrastructural, and economic equality with the rest of the globalized world. Through moral projects like education, cooperative fund raising, and denominationalism, Misimans infuse presently persistent inequalities with the possibility of greater equality. I believe these moral projects of cultivating hope subvert the inevitability of inequality in favor of egalitarian ideals.
The following photos were posted to us by Jordan while he had good internet connection during his stay in Alotau: