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Weaving the Nakaiy

Sounding the Monsoon

<in progress>

Project Notes

Project Type:
Design Research and Arts Project

Dr. Jonathan Cane
Ifham Niyaz
Mohamed Ishan Saeed

March 2020 - ongoing

Prince Clause Fund

Project Tags:
2021, Research, Maldives, Climate Change, Art

Weaving the Nakaiy is a collaborative multidisciplinary design research project based in the Maldives that entwines local knowledge of Gadhdhoowomen’s weaving with scientific representations of monsoonal climate change. These two forms of climate knowledge are linked by the Maldivian Nakaiy calendar, an indigenous observation based monsoonal calendar which responds to the rhythms of daily, monsoonal life.

The project’s approach is ‘sounding’, a method of critical listening, collection and archiving of environmentally-linked sound and music, and the performance and remediation of these changing soundscapes in the Maldives. Critically this is being explored through the diminishing and climatically threatened practices of weaving on the island of Gadhdhoo.In accordance with the Nakaiy and monsoon seasons, wetland grasses are collected, processed and dried before being and woven into mats which have historically been traded across the Maldives and the Bay of Bengal with the monsoon winds.

The project also seeks to use digital tools to reinterpret geospatial climate mapping of the monsoon in light of embodied sounds, rhythms and local meaning embedded in the Nakaiy calendar. Pulling into conversation embodied experiences of changing weather patterns, indigenous island knowledge and data-based macro observations of a changing climate.

The project is ongoing with various multimedia outputs in development.

This project is being funded by Prince Claus Fund and Geoth-Institut, Cultural and Artistic responses to environmental change (2021-22 Round).

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