Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner at the Jaki-ed weaving workshop, Majuro, Marshall Islands, September 2017 / Photograph: Christine Germano / Image courtesy: The artist and University of South Pacific, Majuro

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner
Performance: Lorro – of wings and seas 2018

On Display: GOMA, Gallery 3.5

Jetñil-Kijiner’s spoken-word performance responds to her experience in the Jaki-ed Project, and weaves together words and movement. In her performance, she uses the symbolism of weaving and the weaving circle to explore how women’s roles and identities are shaped by Marshallese culture, the nuclear legacy and climate change. The closing segment is inspired by butoh (Japanese dance theatre) and addresses the influence of the nuclear legacy on women’s bodies. Each strand of Jetñil-Kijiner’s performance connects local wisdom with global issues, and opens the weaving circle up so new audiences can see the spirit of resilience that characterises the weavers of the Marshall Islands.

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner is a poet, teacher and performance artist who was born in the Marshall Islands. Her poetry explores cultural issues and the threats faced by her people — nuclear testing, militarism, rising sea levels as a result of climate change, forced migration and economic adaptation. In her work, Jetñil-Kijiner draws on the stories, cultural values and local practices  underpinning the traditional, spiritual and social structure of life in the Marshall Islands.

Contemporary context

How does Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner:

  • provoke discussion about twenty-first-century issues and concerns?

Personal context

How does Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner:

  • communicate influences on her life and experiences?
  • generate ideas from her own experiences, imagination or memories?
  • create sensory experiences to generate emotional responses from the viewer?

Cultural context

How does Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner:

  • explore cultural traditions?
  • reflect community interests through social commentary?
  • respond to cultural influences?

Formal context

How does Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner:

  • employ specific art elements and principles to communicate meaning?
  • communicate intentions using symbols, motifs or signs?
  • enhance the interpretation of the artwork through processes, materials and media?
  • share characteristics with art movements, times, places or events?