In August 2011 performance artist Shigeyuki Kihara travelled to Germany with the support of the Visitor’s program from the Goethe-Institut to investigate museum archives held across Germany to research materials related to the German administration of Samoa from 1900 till 1914.
Kihara’s presentation accompanied by a power point presentation traces the historical footprints of several groups of Samoans including men, women and small children who travelled and toured extensively across cities in Germany including Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne where they were exhibited in a zoo – a practise commonly known as ‘Völkerschau’ a popular form of exotic entertainment and colonial theatre at the time.
The title of the presentation Culture for Sale is the same title of a live public performance and multimedia installation conceived by Kihara staged during the Sydney Festival in January 2012. You can see photos from the performance here on the Edge of Elsewhere blog.
Conceptually informed by the Samoan participation in the ‘Völkerschauen’, Culture for Sale explores the close relationship between performance, identity, power and money.
The presentation will discuss how Samoan identity as ‘the other’ was contextualised under German colonialism, and whether the surrounding ideas of ‘the other’ continues to resonate in the daily lives of Samoan people in the so called ‘post-colonial’ era in the wake of the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Samoa in June 2012.
Culture for Sale: a Post-Colonial Völkerschau
Presentation by Shigeyuki Kihara
When: Sunday 19 February, 2012. 2pm
Duration: 45 minute talk and 15 minute Q & A
Where: PATAKA Museum of Arts and Cultures
Cnr Parumoana & Norrie Street
Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand
Source and image: Pataka