Therme Art Joins Explorer Johan Ernst Nilson on a Research Trip in Papua New Guinea
In March, Therme Art joined Swedish explorer Johan Ernst Nilson in March for a research expedition in preparation for a collaborative project exploring the intersection of nature and culture, and world-wide notions of wellness and conservation.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is known as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, with over 800 different languages native to the country. Despite its cultural diversity, the country is one of the world’s least explored, both culturally and geographically, and many undiscovered species of plants and animals are thought to exist in the interior of the country.
As an explorer, educator, researcher and climate activist, Ernst Nilson has completed over 28 expeditions around the world, visiting approximately 100 countries during his career. Throughout his global expeditions, Ernst Nilson has visited and explored Papua New Guinea several times, living with the country’s many different tribal groups, of which the country has over 200.
Johan Ernst Nilson, Explorer
Building upon Ernst Nilson’s research and first-hand experience with the indigenous cultures of Papua New Guinea, Therme Art’s exploration involved an insight into past and present indigenous cultures of the country. With over 50,000 years of habitation, the impenetrable rainforest proved the ideal environment for developing permanent agriculture. In as such, tribes of indigenous communities in the country have always been learning about climate, ecology and the adaption efforts needed to support the environment. Together, the group spent time with some of these indigenous communities, as well as specialists, learning about their preservation of land and ecology and the devising of their livelihoods around these resources.
The knowledge and wisdom preserved within the indigenous cultures of Papua New Guinea, and indigenous cultures around the world, are paramount to the creation and implementation of innovative and holistic solutions for the current climate crisis. It is imperative for us as a species to protect the existing tribal and indigenous peoples around the world, helping them preserve their rich cultural histories. Without them and their valuable contribution to contemporary cultural, social and scientific discourse, we cannot win the fight against climate change.