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Professional Development Opportunity: Hawaiian Media Makers Conference

On Oct. 29, I attended the first annual Hawaiian Media Makers Conference at the Ala Moana Hotel, put on by Pacific Islanders in Communication. Some highlights:
-The first session I attended was about indigenous property and intellectual rights. This panel talked about the rights and responsibilities we have to original works and their creators. Music created prior to 1974 doesn't have the same rights protection as later works, and can be used widespread, without compensation (think of all the wonderful music by Aunty Genoa Keawe, or older hapa haole music). To indigenize the law, creators can work into their contracts terms that protect their rights and reflect their culture (such as requesting the ho'oponopono process, instead of arbitration and litigation). My take away, for KSDL: as intermediaries between an artist, SME, or other content creator, KSDL can indigenize their process by making sure the rights of the artists are both clear and fair, and that we receive permission from and cite any contributor. I also have a huge presentation printout on the history of intellectual property rights, if anyone wants to see it.

-In Native Voices: Telling Our Own Stories, three artists (two playwrights and one animation developer--our own Keiki Ka'opua) shared about the way they create native-centric work. One of the playwrights, Briar Grace-Smith, is from Aotearoa, and she shared how many of the film works there originate as plays--and further, how many touch back to traditional stories, so that there are several layers of both cultural and artistic development.

-Halfway through, I left for Never Alone - Indigenous Gaming. This gorgeous multiplatform game was developed with the cooperation of the Inupiaq people of Alaska, who granted the company use of this traditional story. In addition to gameplay, there are also several "unlockables," in the form of the stories of contemporary Inupiaq, and their landscape. They have also a multi-year development cycle, to include international marketing, curriculum for K through college, and mobile gaming. My take away, for KSDL: seeing the scope of development was truly inspirational. The entire story takes place in the Inupiaq language, with subtitles, for an immersive experience. We could also create unlockables or other incentives that relate even strongly to culture, and I think people would be responsive. Here's the link:

-In Cultural Identity in the World of Social Media, two magazine editors and a web developer spoke about their efforts in social media to promote their product. I thought this one was going to be the most relevant, but actually their suggestions were mostly things we do already. KSDL takeaway: Contrast Magazine tailors their messaging and content for the different platforms, and that MANA Magazine utilizes Instagram for photo challenges, and finds success with that.

-The Brown Book Session was based on the Brown Book, which was created by the New Zealand film office put together in the '60s or '70s, on the protocols of working with Maori locations, subject matter, and cultural emblems in film. One of the famous tenets of the Brown Book is the "twenty cups of tea" rule--basically, that anyone from the tribe won't be comfortable speaking with you until you've shared twenty cups of tea with them. Based off this, as well as the Paoakalani Declaration, we were to create our own Brown Book for Hawaiians. I didn't find this particularly helpful, because we weren't told about it ahead of time, so I had read neither the Brown Book (I actually thought it was a fictional book, actually) nor the Paoakalani Declaration. They also didn't say what they were going to do with the information they gathered. KSDL takeaway: It's a good idea for us to read the Paoakalani Declaration: Paoakalani Declaration.

Overall, it was a wonderful conference, and I hope I can go back to future conferences held by PIC.


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