Kastom Kopiraet

An van. Dienderen, Hugo DeBlock, Christina Stuhlberger
Produced by
Supported by
KASK & Conservatorium School of Arts Ghent, VAF (Flemish Audiovisual Fund), Museum Dr. Guislain Ghent, Beursschouwburg and argos center for arts and media Brussels.

In preproduction

“Kastom Kopiraet” zooms in on the backstage story of the tribal art trade in and out of Vanuatu, in the Southwest Pacific. The film starts with a ritual performance undertaken in a context of contemporary cultural revival and tourism. During the tourism season, when the islands are visited by yachties and other tourists, we meet Johnson, a former police officer for the Gendarmerie Francaise during colonial days. He is the protagonist in the documentary film ‘Ambrym, l’île noire’ (1998), in which he presented himself as exotic ´native´. “Kastom Kopiraet” deals with the (de)construction of ‘authenticity’ in such exotic movies and follows the traces of copyright claims by islanders for the objects stolen from them a long time ago. Can we as filmmakers make a documentary about these complex issues and their entwinement with the West, in which there is no clearly demarcated ‘right’ or ‘wrong’?