12.08.2023 — 23.08.2023

Kõmij Mour Ijin
Our Life Is Here

Situated at the centre of the Earth’s largest ocean and surrounded by vast expanses of water, the 29 coral atolls of the Marshall Islands have been called home for more than three thousand years, by canoe-voyaging people who could navigate solely by sensing the rhythms of waves with their bodies and observing the positions of the stars. Yet, due to rising sea levels and the lasting legacy of U.S. nuclear testing, that precious 3000 year old pacific culture can now rightly be called the most existentially-threatened place on the planet.

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Marshall Islander Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner, American Michael Light and Brit David Buckland led Cape Farewell’s ninth expedition to the heart of the Anthropocene, offering first-hand experience of climate change displacement and massive nuclear destruction. Sailing aboard the M/V Pacific Master and M/V Surveyor, a powerful team of 30 international, Oceanian, and Marshallese artists, writers, scientists, and filmmakers will witness this crucial example of our human-altered world and create narratives in art, film, words and music that offer insight to our present human crises and resilient pathways forward. Twenty international team members will sail aboard the Pacific Master, and 10 Marshallese youth artists aged 18-25 years will explore in parallel aboard the Surveyor.

The Marshalls, with an average height of 6 feet above sea level, are located in the centre of the Pacific Ocean amidst water that is rising at an accelerating rate. Our team will visit Kwajalein, Wotho, Bikini, and Rongelap Atolls, around which the team focused its pilgrimage and interrogation.

Both the demons of nuclear testing and the climate crisis came from afar, and Marshallese resilience and creativity in response to them is an inspiration to the global community that created — and struggles to contain – these same demons. Marshallese atolls and their remarkable people tell an existential story that is deeply relevant to all of humanity. 

The 30-strong creative and scientific team of the Kõmij Mour Ijin/ Our Life Is Here expedition were tasked with narrating this unique story of challenge and resilience.


Meet the international expedition team

Meet the Jo-Jikum expedition team

Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day Exhibition

29th February - 2nd March 2024, Majuro

Alson Kelen (left) talking about his Canoe navigational sculpture and Solomon Enos' beautiful paintings
(Left) Susan Jieta's bed-size jaki-ed weaving installation, which symbolises a resting place for the survivors of nuclear trauma and (Right) Solomon Enos talking to Hilda Heine, president of The Marshall Islands

The Expedition

The Our Life Is Here expedition team. Image: Brock Scott
(Left) Geovannie Johnson and Victoria Jamore sailing on Bikini. (Right) artist Michael Light. Images: Takashi Arai
(Left) Welcome ceremony and feast Wotho atoll. (Right) Patsy "Pejji" Glad. Images: Takashi Arai
(Left) Victoria Jamore, Geovannie Johnson and Alson Kelen. (Right) Andrew McInnes, Kalena de Brum, Alson Kelen, and Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner outside the abandoned airport on Eneu Island, Bikini Atoll. Images: David Buckland/Takashi Arai
(Right) A warm welcoming from Wotho people on Wotho Atoll.
(Left) Meghann Riepenhoff, Michael Light and Mark Klett. (Right) the film crew on Bikini Atoll.