Arka Kinari is a multimedia performance staged from the deck of a classic sailing ship, using live music and cinematic visuals to imagine life after the carbon economy, resilience to climate change, and re-engagement with the last great commons — the sea. Subversive, immersive, and partially submerged, Arka Kinari sounds the alarm for ecological crisis and prefigures nomadic life in a porous and borderless future.
Including images from the Arka Kinari Logbook, with text excerpts from the essay Ecological Frictions and Borderless Futures: Art and Activism on a Wooden Sailing Ship by Rebekah E. Moore
ARKA- (Latin) a vessel, from arcere, meaning “to hold off or defend”
KINARI- (Sanskrit) a half-human, half-bird musician, guardian of the tree of life.
Arka Kinari is a remarkable ship. It is also a radical reimagining of the band tour, the concert setting, and climate activism that recollects and activates old knowledge of the sea.
Arka Kinari, a ship that sailed around the world and through a global pandemic, powered by the wind and the sun, and offered a floating, multisensory spectacle of music, video art, dance, and theatre to coastal villagers on the remotest islands of Indonesia.
Arka Kinari is a journey made in explicit defiance of fossil capitalism. It is also a journey made in unmistakable reverence to a seafaring chronicle older and beyond colonialist and imperialist agendas.
They aimed to replace the convenience and fossil fuel dependence of international air travel, which they had depended on as international touring artists, with an unhurried journey by the ocean. They aimed to meet and exchange culture, ideas, food, and coffee, not with the rich, primarily city-dwelling audiences of the music festivals they were used to frequenting, but instead with people dismissed or overlooked in global climate talks and by the live entertainment industries, located on some of the remotest islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
By offering Arka Kinari’s crew food and drink, prayer, and entertainment, Banda Islanders are not passive audiences for international touring artists: they are co-creators of a pooled, ever-expanding knowledge—musical, theatrical, ecological, and existential—about humans and more-than-humans meeting at sea and along coastlines.
The maritime network was the original internet, mixing peoples, languages, and ideas. Arka Kinari revives disappearing trade routes with culture as the cargo to people back to their waterfronts. Arka Kinari’s maiden voyage stopped in twenty-three nations, crossing the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Panama Canal, before being trapped in the Pacific Ocean for months during the pandemic. Arka Kinari finally entered her home waters of Indonesia in September 2020, and is now touring the spice routes of the archipelago.