About the Project
This project started out under the working title ”Before it's too late”, then it kind of slid into ”There is still hope” and, now this website came to be named ”The power of the Elders” because that is what it is about.
The power of the elders
Value change for survival
An exhibition and
A coming book
We are Åsa Stibner and Hasse Lisskog, two middle-aged Swedish TV-journalists who have followed the work and politics of the indigenous/native world for many years. Now we believe the time has come to assemble some of the ideas and wisdom of these leaders and Elders we have met. Many of them have
made a great impression on us and we would like to support their work, by doing what journalists do best! Document and spread their stories and views. We hope that you, all our friends, through this website will follow, aid, and encourage this project!
Why a book?
The first thought of it came a warm autumn night at a big outdoor party in Freetown Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark. Different bands were playing all night and lamps hanging from the trees, mirroring their light onto the water. It was very beautiful. I met some of the people that arranged the big fundraising-show 1986 in support of the resistance at Big Mountain. After this discussion, I began thinking about a book to document the ideas and beliefs of some of the indigenous leaders I’ve met. Their thoughts about the state of the Earth...
Back in Stockholm I spoke to Hasse about the idea. He immediately said, “Yes, let's do a book!! And, I know the title of it – ‘Before it's too late’!”
We have both worked as journalists for over 30 years. In different ways in our daily work we both tried to include voices from the indigenous world into the mainstream media. Hasse worked in Australia, USA, and in Sapmi up north in Sweden. I have published stories from Central America, USA, and also covered the UN Workgroup of Indigenous Affairs in Geneva. The last couple of years we have interviewed almost every indigenous person passing through Stockholm. There have been Western Shoshones, Miskitos, Haudenosaunees, Pueblos and Lakotas on the TV4 News. In 2008, we reported from the meeting of the Elder Circle in Montana, USA.
So why a book? Why not TV?
Well, TV is a very strong way of communicating. But it is more of a one-way-communication. It's just one show and then it's gone. A book, is a book, is a book even in 200 years. You can read a part of it, then go make coffee to think about it. You can look at the pictures if that’s what you feel like doing. You can let your neighbor borrow the book and then discuss it together. You can read it slowly and think about the different parts of it. Add your own thoughts. It is a slow way of communicating, which hopefully gives you time to think about the questions raised and some of the answers.
Our first step was to check with the American Indian Institute that works with the Circle of Elders and Youth to gain permission to attend the Ancient Voices Forum in New Mexico. They said yes – and for four days we did interviews, took photos, and filmed the keynote-speakers for the archives of the Institute. They became our first sponsors! For which we are proud and grateful.
We will try to do this project while still working full time in our regular jobs at TV4. And, as far as possible, finance the project out of our own pockets and by crowdfunding. It's a non-profit project. We want to contribute. We are journalists and one way we can contribute is by spreading the words of the Elders.
Right now I have no idea how long this project will take. We are used to having sharp deadlines every day – so this is a new way of thinking for us. This website is a first step. Then we plan to show some of Hasses photos and paintings in an exhibition. After that more travels. And, then the proposed book.
We hope through this website you will follow the project and contribute!
Ideas, encouragement, discussions, financial or other resources – what ever you feel like putting in!
When You look at the photo-galleries - on the portraits there is a little "i" up in the right corner. If You click on it You will see information on the person in the picture. If You dont close the info, You can go on to the next picture, and the info on that one will also show.