Walking between worlds enfranchises indigenous artists through NFTs

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Walking Between Worlds is an NFT-based project designed to empower global indigenous communities through the power of the metaverse. 

Tim Lea, founder of Walking Between Worlds discussed with Digital Nation how he was inspired to support indigenous artists and turn their works into non-fungible tokens to ensure their voices are heard and they are properly compensated.

Lea said he found out people were buying indigenous art in rural communities and hawking it in cities for triple the price they paid with the artists not seeing a cent of those profits.

“When one looks at where the indigenous community is, as a whole, it’s disenfranchised in terms of, there's a massive digital divide that exists. If you think where the technology is heading, if left to their own devices, probably the indigenous community will be looking at NFTs in five to 10 years,” he explained.

Walking Between Worlds is a team of 16 people working pro bono including an indigenous co-founder who is an expert in indigenous suicide prevention, according to Lea.

“It's very much about how do we empower from the bottom up, for indigenous artists to capitalise on NFTs across the globe. To look at it just in Australia, it would be a very small market.

“Whereas if we look at it on consolidating, for example, the Hopi Native Americans that we've been talking to in Arizona, the Inuit community in Canada, the Maya in Guatemala, if one can consolidate indigenous communities together and share values, and provide structures that enables them to capitalise as communities on NFTs, it means self-empowerment from the bottom up,” he said.

In the future, Walking Between Worlds is looking at buying technology to help young artists understand digital art.

Lea explained that 30 percent of the profits will go to indigenous charities.

“What we're doing with the first batch of funds to be released, we're looking towards buying iPads for a not-for-profit Centre for indigenous art with the idea that then young Indigenous artists will get trained in digital art and that the artists will act as mentors for them,” he said.

In the third drop of NFTs, Lea said the objective is to get one of those young artists’ works in that collection.

“We can get these circular motions through the first collection, we can get artists trained up on digital art and then in collection three get one of the artists working in that final collection,” he added.

© Digital Nation
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