Step Folem Step

About Exhibition

Step Folem Step Online

Step Folem Step online features the work of eight ni-Vanuatu artists exploring impacts of climate change, how Indigenous knowledge (kastom) might help address this, and the processes of bringing traditional art and styles into contemporary practice. It includes selected works of painting, drawing, photography, music, carving and installation. This online exhibition also includes a series of short films about the artists and their creative processes.

The ‘Niu Yam’ Vanuatu Artists Fellowship Project

2019 — 2020

The Niu Yam Artists Fellowship (2019—2020) brought together a group of 8 emerging and established ni-Vanuatu artists to take part in a year-long artistic fellowship. The fellowship supported artists to research traditional and ecological knowledge, create new artistic works, and explore processes of using traditional knowledge and styles into contemporary creative practice.

Artists participated in workshops on climate change and creative practice, undertook their own cultural and creative research, and some attended the Vanuatu National Arts Festival on Malekula in August 2019. In 2020 the COVID19 pandemic saw the Fellowship shift to virtual meetings and connections via facebook. Artists and curators in Vanuatu were able to meet together and continued their research and creative practice independently, producing the work shown here.

Project Partners

The Niu Yam fellowship and Step Folem Step exhibition were supported by the Engendering Climate Change, Reframing Futures in Oceania project funded by The Australian Research Council, and the Scaffolding Cultural CoCreativity Project and Remix/Rimix, Negotiating Contemporary Art and Kastom in Vanuatu, funded by the Australian National University through the Translational Fellowship Scheme.

Funds and support were also provided by the Fondation Suzanne Bastien, the Vanuatu Kaljoral Senta, the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, the ANU Research School of Humanities and the Arts; and the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.


Step Folem Step was collaboratively curated by Lina Ariki, Marcel Melto and Maya Haviland.

Photography by Georgina Kaitiplel of Starlight Photography.

The films featured in this exhibition were produced as a collaboration between Niki Kuautonga, Maya Haviland and the team at Further Arts.


For further information on this project or associated artists please contact Dr. Maya Haviland or Lina Ariki, Co-Director of Fondation Suzanne Bastien,

To cite this website:

Haviland, M. 2022. Step Folem Step Online, Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, Australian National University: Canberra, Australia.