Ancestral Download, 2021*

*Jerrold Saija.

‘Ancestral Download’ is a research on how we can use contemporary technology as a support in reconnecting with lost ways of knowing and understanding[1]. How does ancestral communication technology look like for the Moluccan diaspora? These works are created in search of windows, to be opened to ancestors[2].

‘How did you feel that day?’ I asked my grandfather. Our attention joined
and we opened a window to past memories together – many layers in a state of erosion. Remaining pictures merged and a mutual knowing emerged. How does one connect to those ancestral memories that cannot be found in texts or archives? The written word as a presumption of factual history is incapable of holding all truths. To repair the discontinued bonds with my ancestors I have to open explorations into different ways of knowing. Sourcing from song, story, the body and togetherness with relatives to find the spark that leads to remembrance. How can I create shared happenings of repair? Perhaps it can start with a simple question.

Conversation: Jerrold Saija, Marlyn Akihary, Jonas Akihary
Song: Willie Aponno, Ecologies of Transformation
Video: Jerrold Saija
Sound: Jonathan Castro Alejos and Jerrold Saija

[1] White Supremacy Culture – Still Here
Tema Okun 2021
This characteristic explores our cultural habit of honoring only what is written and only what is written to a narrow standard, even when what is written is full of misinformation and lies. Worship of the written word includes erasure of the wide range of ways we communicate with each other and all living things. develop your skills individually and collectively to gather information through different ways of knowing;

[2] “How can we find ways to open a window for our ancestors?” – Mala Badi

Hello, what did you say?

I felt happy because I have a grandson.

I was very happy at that time because even though I didn’t eat,
my grandson had a friend that day.

I’ve forgotten where we went.

I actually feel that having him on Aboru together with me, I was happiest at that time.

I was showing everybody else of Aboru that I have a grandson.

So they could say whatever, but still see that I was the happiest person at that time. Because I feel that my life in this old age, is so blessed by God.

As long as I have this disposition of life no one is as happy as me.

Because all that I received from God were my daughters, Kori with her daughter and Marlyn with her son.

The presence of these children shows me that I am very grateful to God,
even though I did not have an easy life, God has never left me suffering.

God is still watching over me even at this old age.

When your Oma died, I was 74 years old. At that time, I was very sad.

And so I thanked God that I had children and grandchildren.

At the time of Oma’s passing I remembered that Marlyn and John still had to complete the Adat. They came from far away, so I tried to arrange everything so that it would be executed well.

Kori who brought the cloth for the Baileo and Marlyn gave an offering to the ancestors. You see, the children are grateful for the duties and responsibilities like parents are grateful for their children and grandchildren.

So, I have to finish before the time comes in this life that I can no longer be a servant to this world.

At that time, opa felt as if opa was in the seventh heaven, because I had never had children and grandchildren who had come from so far away.

And on top of that Marlyn and Kori, wanted to complete the customs.

So that everything was carried out smoothly and I also thank God, because God opened the way for opa to be a blessing to the children and grandchildren that God has given in this life.