Tonga.Online – an offspring of cultural exchange and ICT4D project

2001: The Exhibition "Tracing the Rainbow – Life in Southern Africa" at the Schloßmuseum of Upper Austria province in Linz invited AZFA to present some results of the vast cultural exchange programme between Linz / Austria and the Tonga area in the context of this exhibition. The invitation sparked the idea for the TONGA.ONLINE project as a way to communicate with the Tonga community concerned in a more direct way. Therefore a TONGA.ONLINE Project Room was established as a laboratory where visitors of the exhibition had an opportunity to get immediate access to information about the Tonga people and Tonga culture using the Internet as a tool for communication. For at least a short period of time The Big Blue Van, a mobile computer lab on a lorry moving from village to village on site in the Tonga area, provided for at least some glimpses of direct communication via email postings to the website

On 27th June, a panel discussion in Linz about Strategies of representation and access was held with Sabine Bitter /A, Helmut Weber/A, Candice Breitz /SA, Oliver Ressler /A and Jeff Derksen /CDN :

“How has - in the context of globalization - the role of representation been changed by new technology and the greater 'flow' of images and media across cultures”?

Later in the year the Tonga.Online project won the “Special Award for Communication with Museums” for its presentation in the context of the exhibition.