I’m in South Auckland finally! Almost didn’t make it. Flew into Auckland on Saturday but not before I had a few dramas at the Brisbane airport. Short version of said drama: missed my flight/bought new tickets/lost my passport/found passport!
Spent the last few days out East and West of Auckland visiting family and only made my way down South Auckland last night.
South Auckland is a place like no other – it’s a place where as a Pacific Islander, every time I visit South Auckland, I feel like I’ve arrived home…and I didn’t even grow up here.
I’m in South Auckland for the Pacific Arts Summit, a month long event that celebrates the arts in South Auckland, which is a significant space where contemporary Pacific expression and creativity is prospering and evolving in strong Pacific communities.
Last night I attended the first Hump Day Art Talk at the Faculty of Creative Arts at Manukau Institute of Technology in Otara.
Hump Day Art Talks is a series of stimulating mid-week panel discussions concerning Pacific approaches to artists in society, creative criticism and the art hustle! These exciting live discussions have been developed to help you get over that mid-week hump, get inspired and expand your thinking. Panelists include some notorious Auckland movers and shakers, thinkers and creators, writers and practitioners!
Last nights panel was a group of extraordinary PI’s that included noted Tongan academic, writer, poet, philosopher and musician of the traditional Tongan instrument, the fangufangu, Hufanga Dr ‘Okusitino Māhina, mother of six, artist and curator Leafa Janice Wilson and creator of Kila Kokonut Krew, director, writer, actor and business owner Vela Manusaute.
Sadly I was on Pacific Time and missed out on Dr Māhina’s talk about his Ta-Va / Time-Space Theory, which is based on his own theory of making sense of the world from an indigenous Pasifika worldview. Luckily his talk and that of the others will be available online soon on the Pacific Arts Summit blog.
Leilani Kake (Artist and co-ordinator of Hump Day Art Talks), Dulcie Stewart (Urban Viti), with speakers Vela Manusaute, Leafa Janice Wilson and ‘Okusitino Mahina, andPacific Arts Co-ordinator Ema Tavola.
The Pacific Arts Summit programme is built around the anniversary of Fresh Gallery Otara, a community gallery situated in the Otara Town Centre.
Tonight, Fresh Gallery Otara celebrates its 6th anniversary with its 66th exhibition! The show, WWJD is dedicated and developed in memory of the late, great Cook Islands curator, Jim Vivieaere who passed away in June 2011. Read curator Ema Tavola‘s tribute to Jim here.