Raising environmental concerns on another island

Kashmir Postel with an Indonesian puppet that she plans to use to raise environmental awareness in Bali. Photo Jonas Ruf

Waiheke’s Kashmir Postel is touring an Indonesian puppet show to raise awareness about environmental destruction in Bali.
The 23-year-old theatre director is taking a traditional Indonesian puppet show to small villages across the country’s most popular tourist destination.
“Every year, thousands of tonnes of rubbish is burnt or discarded on Bali or dumped in the waters of the tropical island paradise,” she says.
Well-known local performers have agreed to help present a show encouraging people to take better care of the island.
“I want people to be aware the burning of plastic and plastic in waterways affects the health of everyone,” she says.
Dozens of environmental groups are concerned about the environmental impact that stems partly from the pursuit of the tourist dollar in Bali.
A large dumpsite on the island’s south, known as Junk Island, is generating increasing concern as water pollution increases.
Surfer Kelly Slater has warned that if the rubbish problem continues, people won’t be able to surf.
Kashmir, who studied at Victoria University in Wellington, hopes to share her knowledge of theatre with Balinese artists, while gaining a greater understanding of traditional Indonesian performance.
Puppetry, known locally as wayang kulit, is close to the heart of Balinese culture, entertainment and education.
Kashmir hopes the show will contribute to positive change on the island enjoyed by millions of tourists every year.
“It’s the art of storytelling which helps to plant seeds of awareness.”
The audience will be provided with sustainable products, such as bamboo straws, glass bottles and cotton bags, to help put the message into action.
Performances are set to begin early next year.
Numerous organisations have agreed to support the initiative, but Kashmir is keen to find more sponsors.
For information, email Kashmir.postel@gmail.com. • Rose Davis

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