KULA is a symbolic exchange of gifts between the populations of the Trobriand Islands. Travelers sail hundreds of miles by canoe to exchange gifts which consist in necklaces of red shells traded in the northern direction and bracelets of white shells traded in the southern direction. The KULA journey happens in a circle and follows the movement of the clock. Each participant keeps the gift for a short period of time before passing it on to one of his partners from whom he received the opposite gift in exchange. The exchanged objects are filled with magical meanings and possess great power over the sea spirits, according to local mythology and beliefs.
Often, in modern society, we tend to relate giving with hypocrisy. Is this maybe a product of our nature which has become always more closed, egoistic and self centered?
What mostly fascinates us about the KULA ceremonial exchange is that it enlightens the fact that inside the gift itself there’s a part of the giver’s soul; it’s an extension of the individual and like this it creates a net of personal relationships through all the givers. Of course, this is connected on many metaphoric levels with the human’s social nature.
The given objects during the KULA ceremony obtain an unique inner power – a spirit – which is of course transmitted from the person that gives them. They become identifications of the individual and also a strong point of reference to it while the participants enter the process of giving, taking, exchanging and sharing. Giving implies a great dose of freedom. It’s true that when you give something you also wait for something back as well, but there is no rule about it, it’s just a felt, inner obligation that does not have a right way to settle or just one way; you can create your own way.
ECUMENE Residence has decided to create its own virtual KULA Ceremony by creating this OPEN CALL!
To participate, we ask you to send us a “gift”. We accept any kind of it: a simple written thought, a consolation, a photograph, a drawing, a song, an object, any work of yours…
What will happen next?
Once we receive your gift, you will get back another one in exchange from another participant; we will send it to you via email. What we ask you to do is to expand the circle, get inspired and respond to the received gift with a creation/reflection of yours, so something new will be born from the gift exchange. Also in this case, any form/medium is welcomed.
We imagine this open call like a little sparkle in the everyday life of our future participants. We would like to put in conversation the thoughts of different people from different backgrounds, and different corners of the world as well. By doing so, we aim and hope in the creation of heterogeneity. At the same time, we also deeply believe that in times like this, this act of connection can have a much more important meaning to anyone.
If you have any kind of questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We are waiting for you.
KULA OPEN CALL was closed on 31.05.2020.