54 min

Director: Jari Kupiainen

Production: Jari Kupiainen / Jape Films 2014

Language: English

Subtitles: English

After Kastom Twelve there will be a screening of two short films from Jari Kupiainen:



How do cultural traditions survive and evolve in the present? How do art and cultural identity connect? Kastom Twelve is a story of cultural continuities and the present state of a Polynesian cultural tradition. The film is documented at the Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA) in Solomon Islands in 2012 and it focuses on the artists from Rennell and Bellona Islands. Rennell-­‐‑Bellonese compose one per cent of the Solomon Islands population, yet their artists were ubiquitous at the FOPA 2012, and they also participated actively in the festival organization. Who are Rennell and Bellona Islanders and what kinds of traditions (kastom) do they have in 2012? Kastom Twelve documentary film is realised by cultural anthropologist Jari Kupiainen, and it is based on long-term anthropological research into the Rennell and Bellona culture.


Dr. Jari Kupiainen is a cultural and visual anthropologist with research background in Solomon Islands cultures and society from 1992 until the present. His research has focused on two cultural groups, Rennell and Bellona Islanders and Gatokae Island – Marovo Lagoon Islanders in their home islands and in Honiara, the national capital. Publications include the monograph, Tradition, Trade and Woodcarving in Solomon Islands (Intervention Press, 2000) and academic texts on Solomon Islands cultures, arts, their marketing as well as digital media and ICT in local communities. From 2000 onwards, he has organized personal anthropological photography exhibitions in Finland (6 venues), France (UNESCO Building), Austria (Univ. of Vienna) and Russia (St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television). Since 2007 he has also been shooting video for anthropological research films, presented in academic conferences, seminars, museums, film festivals and university lectures. They include the short films Presenting Kato Bowls of Biche (2008), OLPC Laptops in Bekabeka (2008), Haka’anga in White River (2009), The Stolen Museum (2009), Bellona at the FOPA (2013) and Imaging the FOPA 2012 (2013).


Kastom Twelve premiered at the Viscult 2014 Film Festival in Finland. It has since been screened at the musée du quai Branly (Paris), the National Ethnographic Museum (Stockholm), the Worldfilm Festival (Tarto), the University of Bergen, the St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television, and at several venues in Finland.


Jari Kupiainen is Principal Lecturer (media) at the Karelia University of Applied Sciences and Adjunct Professor of Cultural Research at the University of Eastern Finland.

KASTOM TWELVE – Rennell and Bellona Artists at the FOPA 2012

© 2020 CULTUREELS ethnographic film festival

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