VĀ: Remembering Our Ritual Bodies

Pacific Thought Talanoa

20 March 10:30am - 2:30pm

 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, something important happened to most of us who connect to the moana, we turned inwards, some say we reconnected to our rituals, but this time via Zoom and other social media platforms. What we want to explore in this talanoa is how COVID-19 affected our vā tapuia when many of us reached out online to reconnect with others virtually. We want to discuss if this is related to rethinking and reconnecting with our well-being as we make our way forward into the future.

 

First convened in 2005 by artist Sala Lemi Ponifasio, Professor Hufaga Oukusitino Mahina, and Professor Lealiifano Albert Refiti, the Pacific Thought Talanoa was created to investigate and to unearth the region’s future, past and present knowledge and philosophies, forgotten or silenced.

 

 

SPEAKERS

Nina Tonga  ■  Curator Contemporary Art, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Leali'ifano Dr Albert L Refiti  ■  Associate Professor Auckland University of Technology

Hufaga Professor Oukusitino Mahina  ■  Professor of Art, Culture and Critical Anthropology Tonga International Academy

Sala Lemi Ponifasio  ■  artist

 

PRESENTATIONS

Ulumate Project

Tu'u Hake | Get Up Stand Up

Nina Tonga

Curator Contemporary Art, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Nina Tonga is an art historian and Curator Contemporary Art at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She is from the villages of Vaini and Kolofo’ou in the Kingdom of Tonga and was born and raised in New Zealand. Nina specialises in contemporary Pacific art and is a doctoral candidate in Art History at the University of Auckland. Nina has been involved in a number of writing and curatorial projects in New Zealand and the wider Pacific. Her exhibitions include Home AKL (2012) at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Tonga i Onopooni (2014) at Pataka Art + Museum, Tīvaevae: Out of the Glory Box (2015) and Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists (2018-2019) at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.  She is currently Curator of the Honolulu Biennial 2019, To Make Wrong/ Right/ Now.

Leali'ifano Dr Albert L Refiti

Associate Professor Auckland University of Technology

Research leader, Pacific spatial and architectural environment

Albert L Refiti is a Samoan born and raised research leader in the field of Pacific spatial and architectural environment with extensive research and publication in the area supported by his teaching and lecturing for the last 15 years. He is an Associate Professor of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology. He is the lead researcher in the ‘Vā Moana: space and relationality in Pacific thought and identity’, a Marsden funded research project.

Hufaga Professor Oukusitino Mahina

Professor of Art, Culture and Critical Anthropology Tonga International Academy

Born in the Tongan village of Tefisi, on the island of Vava`u, Dr Mahina was the only one of 11 children in his family to attend university, graduating from Auckland with a masters degree in social anthropology and a PhD in Pacific history from the Australian National University in Canberra. A keen student of Western philosophy, Dr Mahina says he created his own theory as a way of making sense of the world from an indigenous Pasifika worldview and has continued to develop it. He has published extensively on his Pacific-driven time-space theory. “The ta-va, time-space theory is so general and formal that it enters into all fields of inquiry, within and across nature, mind and society,” he says. Dr Mahina’s writings include a series on Pacific leadership, a collection of political, educational, artistic and philosophical essays, speeches and writings, and a book of his poems in both Tongan and English. Dr Mahina is an accomplished performer of the traditional Tongan instrument, the fangufangu, a bamboo pipe played by blowing through a nostril.