Festival Melanesia 2000

The festival Melanesia 2000 was staged  in 1975. This festival, bringing 15,000 Kanak people together over several days of performances, ritual exchange and celebrations, was organised through the commitment of Jean-Marie Tjibaou.

The arts festival was part of a positive action plan partly organised and funding by the French government. The aim was to improve relations with the Kanaks who were seeking political independence. The aim was to pursue long-range plans to ameliorate the circumstances of an aggrieved colonised people and to develop a basis for more peaceful development across racial divides in the population of New Caledonia. This was perceived by French authorities as a graduated devolution, following a history of colonisation stretching back to 1853, prior to any referendum on political independence.

More than 50,000 people turned out to see the Kanak culture on display for the first time. Today the Tjibaou Cultural Centre stands on the Tina Peninsula site where the festival occurred .

1 thought on “Festival Melanesia 2000”

  1. Hi,
    I’m actually looking on those who took part on this event in Nouméa back in 1975. I was not born at that time and as you might have notice few of kanak during the Melanesia 2000 fest’as any records or souvenir of that big event in Nouméa. Until now this festival is known as the first step of kanak fight for cultural and political recognition that would lead later on to the Matignon-Oudinot Accord (in 1988 that endend also the violence period in New Caledonia called the “events”) and also Nouméa Accord (1998) but we have a very few stuff recorded at our local tv brodcast (only a 13 mn film) and few pictures from Mr Rivaton who was photograph there. Even the newspaper did not keep the pics of their review articles. As I notice on some of your work shown on this blog you took some pictures of this event and also some film of the festival I was wondering if I could get some of your work to share with the few of those who are still alive from this event : kanak dancers from Hienghène where my tribe perform during the Melanesia 2000 fest.. My family was part of that too with my father Jean-Marie Tjibaou, all the Tiendanit Tribe in Hienghène village and his wife Marie-Claude Tjibaou with my Grand-father Doui Matayo Wetta (who translate in Paicî langages some part of the dialogue during the theatre). Could you please contact me or send me a message through our local website at http://www.adck.nc.
    thank you so much.

    emmanuel tjibaou

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