Y’all know the tagline for this blog is ‘Decolonising my mind’. Well I just came across – and was reminded of – this work by my beautiful sister in law, Torika Bolatagici:
Torika is a lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Melbourne where she teaches contemporary theory and practice. Her PhD ‘Somatic Sotia: Commodity, Agency and the Fijian Military Body’ was recently submitted for examination at the School of Art and Design, University of New South Wales.
Torika works across a range of media, including photography, video and mixed media site-specific installation. Her interdisciplinary practice investigates the relationship between visual culture, human ecology, postcolonial counternarrative and visual historiography of the Black Pacific. She is interested in exploring the tensions and intersections between gender, embodied knowledge, commodification, migration and globalization.
Her work has been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Yogyakarta and throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at local and international conferences and symposia about the representation of mixed-race identity; Pacific arts practice in Australia and Fiji; representations of teachers and teaching in cinema; and gender and militarism in the Pacific.
More on Torika and her work HERE.
Mood going into 2017 🙂 Listen to the words:
Some more words from the great one Herself:
Its been proved time and time again that a hero was always reluctant of their gift within.
The only difference with myself as an artist now and my audience is I’ve tapped into my strength.
In a year I went from audience to artist.
Solely because of embracing what makes me…. me.
HERoes is about finding the hero within.
The true gift and talents of oneself and nurturing the hero that is already there.
Wear your cape.
A few of my posts so far up on the Stella Mag blog:
Jennifer Baing-Waiko has channelled her passion for preserving traditional food systems knowledge into a fantastic new show ‘Cafe Niugini’.
Julia Mage’au Gray reflects on the joys & challenges of reviving & protecting traditional tattoo designs in a globalised world.
PNG-Australian artist & educator Ella Benore Rowe invites you to explore identity & healing through her mask making workshops.
Childbirth death is still alarmingly high in PNG. Today we look at one way we can improve maternal care for our mothers.
As Managing Director of GiDi Creative, Papua New Guinean-Austrian entrepreneur Grace Dlabik is using her talents for social good.
I will post some substantial essays here on ‘Just the Messenger‘ soon. Nothing much to report right now: writing, screenwriting, learning and living simply, as usual.
I hope you are well.
Hey look at this – the first post of the year! Hope you are well 🙂
Just writing, screenwriting and working in (arts) communications & publishing this year – which affords me time to tinker with organic and simple living (really my main hobby, other than ‘Whatsapp’-ing with my enormous family in PNG) and to prioritise nurturing my health. I am also now considering pursuing a gender research opportunity – specifically, I am considering whether I can bring something of worth to this particular task.
Anyway. Just wanted to share a couple of things to kick off this blogging thing for 2015.
‘SISTERS FOR WEST PAPUA’ IN ISSUE 13 STELLA – ON SALE NOW!
As mentioned late last year, I wrote a 6-page feature article on Nattali Rize, Petra Rumwaropen and Lea Rumwaropen for the latest ‘Entertainment‘ issue of Stella Magazine (it’s the cover story for this issue) – which features fantastic articles on some amazing talent coming out of the Pacific! Here are some words from the Editor:
“If we’ve learnt anything from this issue, it’s that we love to entertain. And with the region brimming with so much talent, we are excited to share the stories of some of the most flexible, resilient and inspiring entertainers of 2014.
In this issue, meet the artists who’ve established unique voices in Australia, New York City, Israel, Fiji, and Tahiti. Working in music, film, literature, fashion, and dance, these artists share an interest, not in fame and fortune, but for social reform and social justice.
As much as we like to be a source of positive media for the Pacific Islands, injustice and exploitation is an ongoing challenge for us as we strive to decolonise our lands and our minds.
With our Pacific Youth being anything but pacified, we are excited to announce the launch of the Stella Pacific Writing Prize, a chance to make some noise about something you care about.”
There is also within this issue a little contributor profile on me, in which I admit to enjoying Katy Perry. If all this doesn’t convince you to SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE BY CLICKING HERE, I don’t know what will.
Check out the strong cover for Issue 13 HERE.
CONTEMPORARY PACIFIC ARTS FESTIVAL 2015: ‘OCEANIA NOW’
The Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival (CPAF) this year will be held from 9-11th April 2015, with workshops being run during March and visual arts exhibitions running until May!
CPAF 2015 will explore the spiritual, physical, cultural and political dimensions of contemporary Pacific identity – situated in the present, the medium between honouring the past and authoring the future. Oceania Now. A space of pure potentiality and agency.
Stay tuned to the CPAF site for updates and ticketing information for workshops and the Symposium. This years festival will include:
5 different Art and Creative Workshops. Including Pacific Photobook Project, Bilum Weaving with Vicki Kinai, Pacific Bling Weaving Workshops, Pacific Fashion Runway Workshop, and Hula Fitness Workshops.
Community Day. Featuring a FREE concert headlined by Radical Son, Children’s Area (a creative village for children and young people with workshops and activities running throughout the day), face painting with artist Ella Benore Rowe, the Craft and Weaving Tent (with Sounds of Polynesia), Interactive Art with Naup Waup (Naup will create work and display his own creations, as well as cultural artefacts from Papua New Guinea), and the Pasifika Fashion Parade featuring participants from the two day Pacific Fashion Runway workshop. There will also be a marketplace with stalls selling a variety of goods.
Traditional Tattooing with Julia Megeau Gray. She’ll be an artist in residence over the three days of CPAF (including Community Day) to demonstrate live tattooing. Julia will be working on individual pieces, and will be available to work on people at FCAC on the 9-11 April.
Woodcarving demonstration with Fono McCarthy. This carver and multi-disciplinary Samoan artist will create an 8ft free standing responsive sculptural work made of native wood titled ‘Gafa Fa’avae’ over 3 days of the CPAF festivities – the work will be completed during the CPAF Community Day.
‘Resonance’ Exhibition. Curated by Chuck Feesago, and featuring work by Naup Waup, Cecilia Kavara Verran, Dan Taulapapa McMullin, Kirsten Lyttle, Chantal Fraser, Chuck Feesago, Leuli Eshraghi, Anna Crawley, Eric Bridgeman.
‘Construction Piece Scores’ Exhibition. CPAF Artist in Residence Ann Fuata will collaboratively develop a work based on ancient intercontinental ocean floor highways that are thought to stretch across the entire Pacific Ocean.
Fiafia Bar – The Festival Bar. 6pm-10pm for the three days of the festival. Step into the Fiafia Festival Bar and witness a Pacific collision of island culture, dance, song, circus and all flavours of contemporary entertainment.
CPAF Symposium. 9-10th April. 25 speakers, 6 chair persons, the PK-CPAF presenters and our keynote speaker Ema Tavola will be progressing a lively and focused discussion on issues relevant to contemporary Pacific arts practice in both an Australian and international context.
I’m looking forward to seeing Stella Magazine Editor Amanda Donigi chair the panel ‘Entrepreneurialism in Pacific Arts’.
A two-day pass or one-day passes are available. To book your place in the audience, CLICK HERE.
And stay in the loop by liking Stella Magazine on Facebook here.
After a year-long article writing hiatus, I wrote a piece for the next issue of Stella Magazine, Issue 13 – a profile on Nattali Rize, Petra Rumwaropen and Lea Rumwaropen of the band Blue King Brown, and their relationship to the struggle for human rights in West Papua. Blue King Brown use their music to raise awareness in their audiences about the cause – a very personal one for the Rumwaropen sisters, who came to Australia as political refugees.
In addition, all three women live their politics and values in their day-today lives. We talked music, family, faith, the magic of performance, global resistance and freedom. It was a pleasure to interview them.
So make sure you grab a copy of that one too 🙂
It’s been a while since I posted on Stella Magazine – publication went on hiatus for personal reasons, but publishing has resumed and Issue 11 is on sale now – covergirl is Naomi Bukalidi!
List of stockists here.
Online subscriptions are available for residents in PNG, Australia, New Zealand, Asia/Pacific and the Rest of the World.
Subscribe here for your chance to WIN.
And stay in the loop by liking Stella Magazine on Facebook here.
Previous issue’s cover – Issue 10:
A little video reminder for all unassuming autodidacts focused on elevated creativity, and the unsteady life that comes with such an obsession: play the long game.
Coincidently, I stumbled upon this video essay from Delve just before my 30th birthday (it has two parts – they aren’t long).
I quite liked it – although I would never call someone a “loser” – let alone DaVinci.
It’s all about the process, after all… remember that. This is how you will stay true to your centre.
The Long Game Part 1
The Long Game Part 2
Wishing you the freest of minds 🙂