A Brief History of Flightpathproject


In 2016:

In April 2016 Flightpathproject‘s curator, Virginia Jealous, was invited by Hallowell Press to edit their forthcoming anthology Flightpath. The selection process was completed in October, with publication planned for 2017.  See the ‘Submissions’ link on this website.

In November 2016 Flightpathproject visited Hong Kong SAR and the Mai Po Nature Reserve. It’s a place where migratory birds in their thousands rest and refuel on a thin green line of wetland on the border with mainland China, while cargo ships pass in the deep water behind and migrant workers and tourists in their thousands move by road across the nearby bridges.

maipo-spoonbills-and-aptsFrom the floating bird hides at Mai Po, looking towards Shenzhen

Image by Katherine Fletcher at http://www.chesleyhouse.com/Travel/hk_mai_po.htm

In 2015:

In February and March 2015 Flightpathproject visited Mallorca in Spain, arriving at the same time as spring passage-migrant birds. It accessed the family archive of Laurence Hope and reconnected with a group of her long-time fans – international artists, academics and documentary-makers. Flightpathproject hopes to include her trajectory in its notions of flightpath.

In October 2015 Flightpathproject again took to the skies, reconnecting with birders in Singapore and Delhi and assessing interest in a collaborative, creative publication of words and images.

In 2014:

Between March and May 2014, Flightpathproject spread its wings more widely. It first touched down in Singapore’s wetland reserves at Sungei Buloh and spent time with artist, educator and conservationist Pui San Tham. This fed a series of illustrations, and responsive words-to-images from Singapore and Thailand. The project continued via the (still) shorebird-friendly coastline of Malaysia around Penang, on its way to Thailand.

Flightpath: Thailand connected with local salt-farmers who promote the conservation of the critically endangered Spoon-billed sandpiper on salt pans close to Bangkok. It then drew inspiration from migration of another kind – forced movements along the Thai-Burma railway in World War II.  The project then spent two months based at Compeung, an arts residency near Chiang Mai. It visited areas geographically and culturally close to the porous border with Burma, where refugees create flightpaths of another kind. This resulted in readings, publications and discussions of written work produced during Flightpath: Thailand.

(Flightpath: Thailand was supported by the Commonwealth, through the Australia-Thailand Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.)

thai binos 1

From October to December 2014 Flightpathproject traced the journeys of birds – and people – from the Himalayan foothills of north India to the Bay of Bengal in the south.  It participated in poetry readings in the northern townships of Shimla and Mussoorie then – in Chennai, in southern India – researched, wrote and spoke about the extraordinary life of poet Laurence Hope and her lifelong migrations between India and Europe before – and beyond – her death in 1904.

In 2013:

In July and August, Flightpathproject, along with a Bhutanese film crew, joined WWF India on their annual survey of migratory black-necked cranes in the high altitude wetlands in Ladakh. Accounts of that extraordinary trip appeared in conservation journals and national newspapers in Australia (see links on the ‘Who’s Who in Flightpathproject’ page on this website).

bnc-2-kingaCourting black-necked cranes at Tso Kar, Ladakh

Image courtesy Kinga Penjor/Bhutan Broadcasting Service

In 2012:

Flightpathproject was inspired by community arts, science and environment work undertaken in 2012 in Denmark, a small country town on the wild south coast of Western Australia. Nearby, Morley Beach is one of the top sites for migratory birds in WA.

brad morleyLong-time local birder Brad Kneebone, surveying shorebirds at Morley Beach

Photo by Basil Schur


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