Seychellois Fishermen and Their Stories Celebrated in Stories from the Sea project

The Meraki Foundation in partnership with the British High Commission Victoria successfully concluded its Stories from the Sea project last week, Wednesday 23rd January, with a photography exhibition and musical performance by English Folk music duo Belshazzar’s Feast at the British High Commissioner's residence. Among those in attendance were the Baie Lazare fishermen group, local stakeholders as well as members of The Meraki Foundation.

The project, launched early January 2019, highlighted stories from Seychellois fishermen using photography, videography and musical mediums.

Also aiming to bridge the gap between two cultures, the project saw a collaboration between Belshazzar’s Feast and the local fishermen community, supported by local musician, David Andre. Arising from this collaboration was a public Traditional Jam Session, held at Anse Poules Bleues, Baie Lazare last Sunday. Around 150 members of the community poured into the Baie Lazare Fishermen Association’s turf on Sunday to watch the lively performance despite rain shower outbreaks in the late afternoon.

A further outcome of Stories from the Sea is the creation and development of a video series based on the project by – another project under The Meraki Foundation.

Fishing communities in many places around the world are facing significant challenges due to new policies and environmental developments. While it is imperative to ensure sustainability of natural resources, many policies may overlook the contribution of fisheries to the sociocultural well-being of communities. These are some of the elements that the Meraki Foundation will be considering going forward as discussions with key stakeholders take place for plans to continue expanding the project in collaboration with fishing groups in the different districts on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, using the powerful medium of art to shed light on the fishing industry as well as advocate for the inclusion of culture and heritage in fishing development.

Photos courtesy Richard's Photography Seychelles