Ples Singsing Masterminds
“The Ples Singsing blog is created to encourage and facilitate this process to “re-thing and reclaim” our own stories, poetry and drama. Here we may interact with each other through our writing, in literature which expresses what it means to us to be Papua Niuginian”.
Re-thing and reclaim our own approaches to express our story, by Michael Dom
As part of our aim for Ples Singsing to be a place for Papua Niuginian creativity we want to welcome all writers to participate in presenting their thoughts and opinions about aspects of our society, economy, politics and culture.
We encourage open expression provided that this is done in a constructive spirit and displays respect and due consideration.
One helpful means of encouraging constructive thinking and writing is through essay competitions.
Ples Singsing will soon launch an essay contest for PNG secondary and tertiary students, the first of what is hoped to be a five year program.
This initial competition will be on an issue which is fundamental to PNG writers and which underpins the core values of Ples Singsing: why the PNG government should/should not buy PNG authored books.
In 2019 over 300 writers and supporters of PNG literature signed a petition to Prime Minister James Marape to request for the PNG government to support our national authors.
A year later there has been no response.
Nevertheless, we have not given up hope and neither have we stopped in our writing efforts.
In fact the leader of our petition group, Daniel Kumbon, recently published a 400 page book, a historical biography of an Engan family, for which Phil Fitzpatrick writes:
“Daniel’s story, in every respect, is what might be termed blockbuster in its context.
But beyond that it is also a study of the amazingly complex impact of colonisation on an indigenous society that was to be thrust at warp speed from stone-age to modernity over the course of what was a single human generation.
Intertwined throughout the book is the personal story of one individual and his family.”
Also, independent publishers Jordan Dean and late Francis Nii continued to work with authors preparing manuscripts for publishing, including Pole John Kale (Quest for Education From Collecting Firewood To Yale University, Michael Dom (26 sonnets and Dried grass over rough cut logs), Francis Nii (Flight of Jungle Eagle), Baka Barakove Bina (Operesin Kisim Bek Lombo), Samantha Kusari (When the River Destroys), Iso Yawi (God, My Country and Me), and Caroline Evari (Nanu Sina).
Moreover, the life of late author Francis Nii was celebrated with a collection of his entire catalogue of writing, which also featured contributions from many PNG authors.
And that was only a list of books that we are notified of by Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG Attitude within the last 18 months.
Unfortunately most of the books on this list will not be readily available to readers in PNG.
While authors now have access to online publishing options, purchase, delivery and costs of securing copies of their books remains a major logistical and financial drawback to interested buyers and self-funded authors alike.
Jordan Dean and other authors have also been donating books to schools to help improve student access to reading and learning materials authored by fellow Papua Niuginians.
Folks at Ples Singsing believe in the validity of the petition made by PNG authors to Prime Minister Marape.
We believe that supporting PNG authors for PNG readers is a practical way to ‘take back PNG’ because we will be giving back to PNG those stories (fictional and non-fiction) which already belong to us and which encompass who we are and what we value in our society.
This means we need to hear more opinions and gather more suggestions about the cause of our petition.
We want to read essays from our youth, students in secondary schools, technical, vocational and teachers colleges, and universities.
We believe that hearing from you is the best way to determine the value of our cause and determine the way we want to achieve our goal.
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR AN UPDATE ON THE ESSAY COMPETITION – COMING SOON!