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CURRA Researcher Pam Hall: Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge

 This summer I had the pleasure of meeting CURRA Researcher Pam Hall. She is a remarkable individual with adept artistic talent and her initiative will help us all continue to experience and Live Rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

The following article is being distributed from “The Western Shorefast Fall 2010” Newsletter:

My [Pam Hall’s] PhD research explores art as a form of making and moving knowledge. Traditionally, we have seen science as the main and often the only source of knowledge in western society, and my research will work to expand, deepen and make visible many others forms of knowledge that have been undervalued and consequently under-used. My work with CURRA will involve a major collaborative creative project that will take place in communities throughout Bonne Bay and the Great Northern Peninsula. It is called Towards an Encyclopaedia of Local Knowledge and hopefully will include participants from school children to elders, who will share their own knowledge to be included in the Encyclopedia.

Often, we think of “knowledge” in narrow ways that exclude many kinds of knowing and many kinds of knowers; my work as a scholar and an artist begins with the assumption that everyone knows something interesting and important about where they live and how they live there. My goal is to make that knowledge visible so it can be shared and used within and beyond the communities where it emerges.

Even children “know things” about their homes and communities, whether it be which are the fastest paths home or where there are good places to hide or where important things happened. Fishers and hunters know a lot about their local ecology but also about how to make things, find things, or interpret the weather. Some women know not just where to find berries, but how to preserve them: some know not just who their relatives are, but where they came from, and what their ancestors did in previous generations. Schoolteachers, convenience store workers, grandparents, mechanics, teenagers, union officials, waitresses, nurses, fishers, truck drivers, and carpenters, ALL have particular ways of knowing their place and know particular things about it.

Everyone has some expert knowledge and Towards an Encyclopaedia of Local Knowledge will gather ecological, social, historical, technical, material and cultural knowledge from voluntary “experts” up and down the west coast of the Province. It will build on, expand and extend some of the community-specific knowledge that already exists and make it visible, alongside new knowledge -so it can be shared and presented- honoured and celebrated.

Everyone who participates will be acknowledged as a co-author, and many kinds of traditionally “invisible” forms of knowledge will be included. For example, local and CURRA researchers have already begun to gather fishermen’s ecological knowledge (FEK), which, in the Encyclopaedia can be set beside I am excited to begin the search for women and men up and down the Northern Peninsula who will share their time and knowledge to help me create the Encyclopaedia of Local Knowledge.For more information on my work as an artist, visit http://www.pamhall.ca and for more information, contact me directly at pamhall@nf.sympatico.ca.Pam Hall, CURRA

other land and sea use knowledge about where things and creatures are in the landscape, and how they are used, prepared, preserved. It will also include knowledge about hand work and harvesting practices, about relationships and ancestry, about settlement patterns and knitting patterns, about boat building and gardening and pickling and preserving and where things come from and travel to. Essentially, it will contain all the local knowledge folks on the Northern Peninsula are willing to share!

 

 

Interesting Facts About Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland & Labrador, one of the first places discovered in the New World, boasts a rich history. St. John’s is considered to be the oldest city in English-speaking North America. With Cupids, being the oldest English Colony in North America, celebrating 400 years in 2010.

I’ve received this in an email forward and felt compelled to share. Here are some interesting facts about Newfoundland & Labrador…

WERE…
The first province to Respond to Titanic distress signal.
The first to vaccinate for smallpox.
The first host a trans-Atlantic flight.
The first to have a wireless communication in the world.
The first place to discover proof of the theory of continental drift.

WE HAVE…
The oldest street in North America.
The oldest city in North America.
The oldest rock in the world.
The oldest continuous sporting event ( Regatta Day rules! )
The largest university in Atlantic Canada.
The most pubs rep square foot in Canada ( George Street  in St. John’s)
The longest running radio program in North America.
Caught the world’s largest invertebrate ( giant squid )

WE ARE…
The finest people in Canada ( ask anybody )
The Sexiest people in Canada ( MacLean’s magazine survey )
The only Province that has four identifiable flags.
The only Province to be able to land the Space-Shuttle ( Stephenville )
The most giving people in Canada ( Stats Canada )
The most sexually active people in Canada.

A NEWFOUNDLANDER…
build the world’s first artificial ice arena.
invented the gas mask
was once governor of northern Rhodesia
was with Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg

WE ARE THE ONLY PROVINCE TO HAVE…
it’s own “encyclopedia”
it’s own “dictionary”
is own “pony”
it’s own “dog”

Our beautiful province is unique, as with any place. The dynamic people that live and populate this island enhance the natural beauty and add to the extensive culture, heritage that has been in existence for more than 5,000 years.

Think about where you live and consider some of the interesting facts and reasons you choose to live and experience your province, state or country.

Live Rural NL – CCM

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