Alii!* In late February, I arrived in the Republic of Palau to conduct research about the feasibility and requirements of the Island Ark Project. The Island Ark Project aims to build an online platform to enable people to preserve and transmit their intangible cultural heritage. If you read this and you have not heard about the Island Ark Project yet, we invite you to check out our website. This blog, contrary to the full website, aims to illustrate solely this ongoing phase of the project – the implementation of a pilot study in Palau. In total, this phase will take about six weeks. When that time comes to an end, I hope we will have learned much about intangible culture in Palau, about those who protect and transmit it, and how an online platform can support them achieving their goals.
Ahead of Ingmar, who will arrive in a couple of weeks, I will try to set up the foundations of our pilot study here in Palau. Specifically, I want to explore the opinions and ideas people have about the Island Ark Project and build a network of people passionate about the preservation and transmission of intangible cultural heritage.
I would like to thank all people and organizations funding this research exercise and hope that this blog can contribute to make our work here in Palau more transparent. Last but not least, I would like to thank the Island Ark team members – David, Blaine, Tess and Sanya – who are working diligently on the realization of the website and who are doing everything possible to make the project a success, but unfortunately cannot be in Palau this time.
Palau has provided me with a great welcome by its kind people and great natural wonders. I am looking forward to update you, the reader, on our progress and stories we have to share.