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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 29, 2010
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Alternative Look at Easter Island
October 29, 2010   
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The Ethnographic Museum in Poznań is staging an exhibition focusing on Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, which most people associate with its monumental statues (moai). The exhibition in Poznań provides a different look on the island. It consists of several dozen photographs which form a collective portrait of the local community, depicting young and old inhabitants wearing traditional outfits and makeup. The photos come with 80 artifacts made by local craftsmen.

The exhibition is the work of Stephanie Elizabeth Pauly, 59, a photographer and writer who has lived on Easter Island since 1996. Pauly looks at the culture of the indigenous people through the eyes of a neighbor, no longer a tourist. Pauly was born in Germany and spent 40 years of her life in Cologne, where she was a chemistry and biology teacher. “After years of working in a school, I was just burned out,” she said. She left for Chile and Argentina and then ended up on Rapa Nui. She met Karlo Huki Atan, a native Easter Islander, fell in love with him and stayed for good. Together, Pauly and Huki Atan have written two books about the local culture and back in Germany, Pauly’s book about how she settled on Easter Island was a major success. Pauly was able to gather the unique collection of photographs and other objects thanks to the trust she earned with the local population over the years.

Open through Nov. 30
Rapa Nui—The People Among the Statues, Ethnographic Museum, Poznań, 25 Grobla St.
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