The Epoch of Mapalucene
In the Indonesian province of North Sulawesi, the stone-revering Minahasa were organised according to the gift economy of Mapalus, which was based on volunteerism, kinship with nature and mutual aid. According to native cosmology, the first person ever to exist was a woman who gave birth through a stone. With the presence of colonialists from the West and their interactions with the locals, the Minahasans evolved to a stone-based exchange system that was informed by a mixture of their ancient spiritual beliefs and the Christian-influenced capitalist ideas. The Epoch of Mapalucene explores the dynamics of Minahasa worldview through the perspective of digital culture, speculating on its potential for imagining an alternative society based on a reciprocity that brings together animate and inanimate realms.
Nedine Helena Sulu of Indigenous People Alliance of Minahasa
The Epoch of Mapalucene is a speculative geologic epoch – a geological force that is based and developed on the mutual interaction and solidarity amongst earth inhabitants directly influenced by Minahasan cosmology and philosophy.
As the notions of anthropocene – capitalocene, chthulucene, plantationocene have been distributed, circulated, and discussed, I propose we attempt to reconfigure this terminology. How to configure a novel epochal term, one that has a more positive approach? I speculate this approach be derived from a monumental shift based on mutual aid and solidarity between species, not seeing others as a resource for extraction.
An era of transactional activity that is based on care and compassion, not a capitalist accumulation. An epochal transition that wrestles against the injustice of our small friend in the ecosystem, like cockroaches, to the injustice that the stone has been facing for thousands of years.
A utopia non-Darwinian world in which its state of equilibrium is constructed from the mutual understanding of its inhabitants. What would the world look and feel like if we apply this imaginative geological period?
In this imaginative and alternative geologic time scale, all transactions between the earthlings will be established from the notion of a gift economy. Commodity, in this case material and labour, will be distributed collectively with a peer-to-peer system. By doing this, no one extracts or exploits another. No one masters another.
The work was commissioned by Other Futures and transmediale with the support of the Martin Roth Initiative.
Photo documentation by Luca Girardini for transmediale
The Epoch of Mapalucene would not be happen without the support of Patuari Katuari from Minahasa, Mawale Movement, Fendy Parengkuan, Bode Talumewo, Fredy Sreudeman Wowor, DDDBandidos Studio, Wahono (Divisi 62) and Arief Budiman.
Makapulu sama Opo Empung Wailan Wangko