Wantoks: Dance of Resilience in Melanesia

In 2018, the Solomon Islands, in the South Pacific, hosted the Melanesian Arts & Cultural Festival, celebrating the country’s fortieth anniversary of independence. On neighboring island states, the struggle for freedom continues, as West Papua resists Indonesian occupation and the residents of New Caledonia still live under French rule. In all Melanesian countries, residents face the common challenge of climate change, as rising sea levels threaten to swallow both land and tradition. In this charged context, captivating performers are using their talents to celebrate local culture and draw international attention to their islands’ plight, with the hope of spurring international solidarity and prompting collective action against the perils of a warming world.

Featuring striking footage from the South Pacific islands, WANTOKS: Dance of Resilience in Melanesia, profiles the artists and activists who are fighting for self-determination while trying to defend their homes against the rising sea. The film premiered in Helsinki, Finland in May 2019 and is now screening around the globe.

WANTOKS will be accompanied by a traveling photography exhibition about climate change in Oceania by Vlad Sokhin. If your organization or festival is interested in showing the exhibition with the film, please contact us at info@culturesofresistancefilms.com. You can find more information about the exhibition here.


The trailer is also available on Vimeo.


The film is also available on Vimeo.


The following images are stills from Wantoks: Dance of Resilience in Melanesia. They are low-resolution and for web-use only. All photos courtesy of Cultures of Resistance Films.