sakamoiz is a post-Swiss pseudo-Mexican Tasmania-based rogue, and his nomadic lifestyle benefits one of the planet's most sonically eclectic and linguistically diverse music collections and DJ sets.  sakamoiz aka Moses Iten perceives the world as an interactive library, and as a multilingual storyteller his words have been performed and published in Australia, USA, Germany and Mexico.



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The Masterpiece > by Moses Iten

The Masterpiece He is writing his life's work: he knows it. It started at University, or maybe before, or after. Maybe he didn't go to University. It doesn't matter: no one has written this before. But he is never happy, with what he writes. He keeps every bit of paper he has ever held in his hands, in elaborate filing systems. He adds rooms to his house filled with papers, notebooks, and drafts of drafts. He can't admit that he lives in fear. He could lose historic work: future masterpieces. His ideas could be stolen, if any paper left his home. The paper builds up. It is everywhere. He has exhausted his block of land, the bottom two floors of the house have sunk into the ground. But paper is still being delivered. He keeps ordering it, scouring catalogues for the best deals. He steals the neighbour's junk mail: these references of our times will one day carry meaning. He knows the capitalist system will capitulate. He collects ideas, but has no time to order them. He orders his papers, but has no time to think. Except when sitting on the toilet bowl. He sits there, thinking, oh how nice it is to just switch off. So he sits there not thinking about anything. Is it possible not to think about anything? He writes that down. He thinks some more about not thinking. He has a smile playing on his face, and climaxes the business in a contented sigh. Perhaps he is influenced by other feelings, of bodily functions. He writes down: “influence of bodily functions?” He is afraid to flush, but discovers he has absentmindedly slipped the notes on toilet paper into his pocket. Nevertheless, he checks with the brush, to ensure he hasn't wiped with important notes. Whilst he is on the toilet, there is a delivery of paper. It is of the best quality, neatly lined, and the delivery has come from the other end of the state. The truck driver lights up a cigarette and rings the bell. There is no answer. The truck driver leaves a burning cigarette on the doorstep. Finally having flushed, the writer goes to the door. He opens it. He stomps on the burning cigarette butt, but doesn't curse it. The delivery truck has left, and he curses that instead. He curses the strong wind, air that is so careless about direction. He walks to the road in front of his house, to look for signs of the truck. There is a note in the letter box, saying that the paper has to be picked up at such and such. What a hassle. The cigarette butt has blown indoors. He doesn't see that it is still glimmering. He doesn't remember hearing an explosion. He has blacked out. While he is being rushed to hospital, fragments of text cover the city. Rains of confetti are reported on the News. A pedestrian stops and tries to make sense of these fragments, but it doesn't make sense, and turns on the television instead. Journalists have been sent to analyse objectively. A stupid old man that some thought wise, uses it as mulch. Words, words, words. It keeps raining and raining - the rivers of confetti become the sea. Our writer wakes up, and sits up in his hospital bed to watch the spectacle he has caused. Our writer records his emotions of the spectacle. There is no bibliography as his library is confetti now. His influences are destroyed; picked up by the wind that has no care in the world. He is a writer, he is on the news. He becomes filthy famous. Bits of paper with his words are sold to collectors, like concrete fragments of the Berlin Wall were. Collages are auctioned. Biographies about him become best sellers. The writer is invited on TV. Scientists are trying to crack his code, apparently. But no one cares, art is belief. He never has to pick up a pen again, or tap at a keyboard. Anthologies of his scattered words are released and translated into 12 languages. His publishers sue an experimental German writer for plagiarism, because he made a collage of random words. Our writer is happy. He just knew he had been close to writing the masterpiece.

weld valley concert

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weld valley concertCombat Wombat concert at the Weld Valley protest 2006. photo by Moses Iten.

Wombats Gunna Work It Out > by Moses Iten

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weld valley concert Wombats Gunna Work It Out By Moses Iten TAS, VIC | 14.02.2006 “I'm on a quest to find a way,” raps Elf Tranzporter - rapper, activist, and part of the hip hop crew Combat Wombat. Combat Wombat at the Weld Valley blockade 3
Moses Iten visits the front-lines of politics and music.
“Our mainstream media is extremely good at hiding Australia's past and present” - producer Monkeymarc's response to those who believe that Melbourne's nomadic hip hoppers Combat Wombat are only ranting and raving to a converted audience - “So this is us taking back control of the media, and giving a clearer and more honest perspective of what's happening here.” “We've gone from selling our first album ourselves out the back of the van to being signed to Elefant Traks and being distributed by Inertia. This has enabled us to get our music out much further than we ever could have imagined. We have been getting emails from people in the USA and Japan saying how much they love the album and when are we coming over there,” elaborates Monkeymarc. “It's great to see the issues that we touch on, like refugees, Aboriginal genocide, Australia's nuclear industry, racism, Pine Gap etc. getting recognition in other countries. The USA and the rest of the world tend to see Australia as the lucky country, and kind of have a false idea of what it's like. Hopefully our album is educating the rest of the country and the planet to what is really going on here”. Imagine a small town in Tasmania. The hard-working people who have lived here precariously for generations are mostly happy to have jobs, which they will defend at all costs. In the heart of this town lies a shopping village dominated by a multinational supermarket chain, in the company of franchises of several take-away food and video hire stores. Forget about this town. Leave its streets behind and keep driving through lush farmland - logged and cleared by the axes and horses of previous generations --- with each mile you see less and less homes... Suddenly the country is wild, lush bush, with huge trees dominating the skyline. Then everyone in the car falls silent as clear-felled coupes slap us in the face. Black stumps. A high perimeter fence hides a woodchip-fuelled power station. You can't help feeling sad. With so many conflicting percentages being thrown around - by both logging and anti-logging camps - the general population decides to wear rain coats and ignore the spittle. Protecting the last remaining stands from the saws of people desperate for jobs, is left to those willing to live in tents and face arrest on a daily basis. Combat Wombat at the Weld Valley blockade 1

“When we pulled up in our borrowed little old battered Tarago, I couldn't believe my eyes. A full-size replica of a pirate ship blocking the road, saving some of Australia's most pristine forest: The Weld Valley. I had no idea how big it was. The attention to detail is verging on fanatical,” Monkeymarc told me the day after the Tasmanian launch of Combat Wombat's sophomore album Unsound System. “Full-size masts with lookouts, and a cabin to DJ from - this was the real deal! I immediately felt extremely privileged to be playing on such a stage. It felt like a unique time in Australian blockading history. I have seen the Mad Max camp at Lake Eyre blockading Roxby Downs Uranium mine. Fort Goolengook blockading the South East Gippsland Forests - but this was something else. I got told that they used 800 metres of rope to rig this thing up.” Once upon a time, Monkeymarc was working in a Western Australian gold mine. With a degree in sedimentology, he worked as an environmental geologist for four years. “But the way mining companies are treating some of the Aboriginal tribes in WA and NT moved me enough to get out there and do what I think is right --- which at the time was to basically get a sound system going and go to blockade camps and start putting my view out there,” Monkeymarc told Cyclone of 3D World. Since setting off for Jabiluka with a crate of records, Monkeymarc has become producer of a crew that has sold thousands of albums and significant Triple J airplay. Combat Wombat at the Weld Valley blockade 2

Whilst Combat Wombat definitely “lifts the spirit of the activist troops”, one critique of their new album is that it would do little to “move floating voters.” How does Monkeymarc respond to that? “Who knows? All I can say is that if people don't believe us: go out and do some research and see what you find out. Maybe this will change their minds.” Festivals like EAR at the TINA festival in Newcastle; the Sustainable Living Festival and the Environmental Arts Festival in Melbourne and the new Two Fires Festival in Braidwood - just to mention a few - bear witness to a new activist energy amongst Australian artists. “Festivals like this show people that we can make a change, and that it doesn't take that much of a sacrifice to do so,” believes Monkeymarc. “It all starts on an individual level. That's the beauty of it. We don't have to wait for a huge revolution and for people to take to the streets, we can start at home. This is the real revolution. Making a change in the way you live and conduct your life. The more that people start to realise this the quicker we will make the transition. It's about taking control and practising what you preach and taking back the power that is rightfully yours as a human being on this planet. If you don't like the way things are going do something about it. It's apathy that's going to kill the planet so get busy.” >> Check out the Combat Wombat . >> Combat Wombat's music videoQwest and documentary Tunin' Technology is available for download through Undergrowth's Motion Pixels section. >>This article was first published on THE PROGRAM - the Australia Council's youth arts and culture website. >>For more information on the Weld Valley ongoing blockade and protest against old growth logging, check out the campaign website here.