About movie

Kastom Twelve – Rennell and Bellona Artists at the FOPA 2012

Original title Kastom Twelve – Rennell and Bellona Artists at the FOPA 2012


How do cultural traditions survive and evolve in the present? How do art and cultural identity connect? The film is a story of cultural continuities and the present state of a Polynesian cultural tradition. The film documented the Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA) in Solomon Islands in 2012, focusing on the artists from Rennell and Bellona Islands. Rennell-Bellonese compose one per cent of the Solomon Islands population, yet their artists were ubiquitous at the FOPA 2012, and they also participated actively in the festival organization. Who are Rennell and Bellona Islanders and what kinds of traditions (kastom) do they have in 2012? The film was realised by cultural anthropologist Jari Kupiainen, and it is based on long-term anthropological research into the Rennell and Bellona culture.

Author/s Jari Kupiainen

Dr. Jari Kupiainen is a cultural and visual anthropologist with research background in Solomon Islands cultures and society from 1992 until the present. His research has focused on two cultural groups, Rennell and Bellona Islanders and Gatokae Island – Marovo Lagoon Islanders in their home islands and in Honiara, the national capital. Publications include the monograph, Tradition, Trade and Woodcarving in Solomon Islands (Intervention Press, 2000) and academic texts on Solomon Islands cultures, arts, their marketing as well as digital media and ICT in local communities. From 2000 onwards, he has organized personal anthropological photography exhibitions in Finland (6 venues), France (UNESCO Building), Austria (Univ. of Vienna, Institute of Social Anthropology) and Russia (St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television). From 2007 onwards he has also been shooting video for anthropological research films, which have been presented in academic conferences, seminars, museums, film festivals and university lectures. They include the short films Presenting Kato Bowls of Biche (2008), OLPC Laptops in Bekabeka (2008), Haka’anga in White River (2009), The Stolen Museum (2009), Bellona at the FOPA (2013) and Imaging the FOPA 2012 (2013).

Research Jari Kupiainen
Photography Jari Kupiainen, Barry Pugeva
Sound Jari Kupiainen
Editing Jari Kupiainen