Three Lessons from Tanimbar, a Prologue and an Epilogue

At the Ubud Writers and Readers festival tonight, I’ll be giving a talk on my book Stealing With the Eyes at the lovely Casa Luna restaurant. I’m really looking forward to it. The subtitle of the talk is “Three Lessons from Tanimbar, a Prologue and an Epilogue”. As a taster, here is the outline. I’m looking forward to it.

Prologue: On Babies made from Shit

“From her shit she made a ball, and out of this she fashioned a baby”

‘Shit Baby’, a folktale from Amdasa village

Lesson 1: On Stealing With the Eyes

“You come to steal with the eyes…”

Mathias Fatruan, Rumahsalut village

Lesson 2: On the Ancestors

“Be careful what you say about the ancestors…”

Abraham Amelwatin, Alusi Krawain village

Lesson 3: On the Proper Conduct of Research

“If you are to do your research properly, you need a tape recorder…”

Damianus Masele, Tumbur village

Epilogue: On Anthropologists

“…that curious brand of high-minded intrusiveness amongst peoples too polite, or too powerless, to tell you to go fuck yourself…”

— from “Stealing With the Eyes”

Come along if you are Ubud, and I’ll let you know if there are any interesting discussions that follow on from the talk.

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