Yumi Sanap Strong (Let’s Stand Strong Together) is an action research project and community led initiative to support the implementation of the PNG Sorcery National Action Plan. The initiative is supported through the Papua New Guinea – Australia Partnership and implemented by Queensland University of Technology and University of Goroka in partnership with four community-based organisations: Kafe Urban Settlers’ Women’s Association (KUSWA), Goroka; Kup Women for Peace, Simbu; Kedu Seif Haus, Milne Bay and Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation, Bougainville. The project develops communication strategies and materials to address sorcery accusation related violence in Papua New Guinea.
Sorcery and witchcraft beliefs are part of everyday life in Papua New Guinea. They have been used to explain some of the good and bad things that happen to people, but they have also been used to manage power structures within communities. Today, some of these traditional systems of managing society are being abused for personal gains. Sorcery accusations and violence associated with it often occur due to structural inequalities that people are facing, impacting on the most vulnerable of society.
The Yumi Sanap Strong project seeks to better understand the causes, impacts and solutions around sorcery accusation related violence. It supports human rights defenders to share their stories and experiences using creative processes and expression for advocacy and education. Producing media materials that capture stories of change highlights the key role the arts and media can play in contributing to a better understanding of human rights and sorcery accusation related violence in Papua New Guinea.
The project has produced several traditional and non-traditional research outputs, including a website, digital stories, a toolkit, a photo exhibition and films.
Funding / Grants
- Pacific Woman (2016 - 2021)
- Kauli, Jackie, & Thomas, Verena (2018) Yumi Sanap Strong Digital Stories. University of Goroka and Queensland University of Technology
- Kauli, Jackie, Thomas, Verena (2020) When you kill the body, do you kill the spirit? Curating affectual performances addressing violence related to sorcery accusations in Papua New Guinea Research in Drama Education, 25 (3), pp.351-363.
- Thomas, Verena, Kauli, Jackie (2020) Strengthening the voices of human rights defenders in the media: A case study on addressing sorcery accusation related violence in Papua New Guinea. Pacific Journalism Review, 26 (1), pp.86-104.
- Kauli, Jackie, Thomas, Verena (2019) Media practice and theatre in conversation: Creating narratives for positive social change ArtsPraxis, 5 (2), pp.225-242.