Tonga.Online @ Ars Electronica 2002

Tonga.Online project has been recognised with a "honorary mention" in the Net Excellence category and is invited to take part at the Ars Electronica Festival from 7-12 September 2002 in Linz. This will provide for a platform of reflection and interactive communication for the project and will contribute to raise attention and support for the Tonga community.


“The avoidance of begging bowl politics is why the KUNZWANA/AZFA cultural relationship with the Tonga has little to do with humanitarian aid. It has not involved food drops, grinding mills or the building of clinics. It is founded on the principle that cultural identity forms a vital function in terms of human survival. When forcibly removed to make way for the building of Kariba, the Tonga lost everything including the fixed assets of their material culture such as their shrines. Their cultural styles were automatically transported with them because they filled no extra space and could not anyway have been separated from the bodies being moved. The Tonga maintained their identity by organising around what remained of their culture and, because the culture was dynamic, it helped them face and adapt to the massive challenges that their new environment presented them. Put very simply, the Tonga invested heavily in their culture and this meant they survived...

The linear view of history and development that suggests stone must precede paper, paper precede computer and computer precede internet, is dangerous and simply deepens the divide between the haves and have-nots. Text books are expensive; most information available over the net is free. It makes perfect sense for the Tonga to leapfrog over the paper revolution and enter directly into cyberspace... The grinding mill mentality is one of the worst expressions of patronage.”

Keith Goddard as speaker at Ars Electronica Symposium “Unplugged - Wireless Africa” 2002

more details: PAE 2002, and: The loop