In this workshop we were visited by documentary film-maker Chris Devanney formerly of Prospect Village and long-time fisherman Ron Duggan. Chris introduced his film, End of an Era: The Last Fishermen of Prospect Village, Ariella Pahlke shared her film, Charlie’s Prospect. It is a video fable set to an original choir score based on a story that folk artist Charlie Norris told filmmaker Ariella Pahlke.
Participants spoke with Ron Duggan about life in Prospect about how people, fisheries and livelihood’s were impacted by commercial dragging. Fishermen in the village who would come home with a bounty of pollock, haddock, cod and tuna are now gone along with the fish they used to catch.
Participants were asked the question, “what do we value in our natural environment and culture that we would not wish to see disappear?” as they created gyotako (fish) prints with artist Melinda Spooner. Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began over 100 years ago as a way for fishermen to keep a record of the fish they caught. They would apply sumi ink to one side of a freshly caught fish, then cover the fish with rice paper and rub to create an exact image of the fish. The ink was non-toxic and allowed for the fish to be processed for eating, while preserving records of fish species and sizes.
John Sotirakos from Mansion on the Hill music studios worked with participants to create music from found materials, water xylophones, drums and instruments. We viewed videos of the rhythms of ocean waves and composed music together.
East Coast Outfitters in Lower Prospect hosted the Shorelines Project for a Seacology kayak trip facilitated by Stephanie Boudreau. We learned about what’s edible in our marine environment and harvested mussels, clams, periwinkles, and seaweed. David Adler and Adam Zita showed us how to prepare sustainably caught seafood including flounder, and shared information about Off the Hook Fishery and Slow Fish. We had a big feast overlooking the ocean, swam off the dock and visited an island to dig for clams.
We used mixed media to create posters to be put up throughout our community to publicize our final exhibition and invite members of the community to join us in the celebration.
Ariella Pahlke & Melinda Spooner