Creative New Zealand and Pantograph Punch have partnered to launch a digital-first history of Pacific Arts in Aotearoa from the voices of Pasifika artists.
The Pacific Arts Legacy Project is an initiative under Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Strategy 2018 – 2023, with the online series of stories capturing the rich history of Pacific artists’ significant contributions to the arts landscape of Aotearoa and globally.
The all-Pasifika team, led by Editor-in-Chief Lana Lopesi, have worked with key Pasifika artists on the stories which will have an initial online distribution on the Pantograph Punch website, followed by other online platforms such as The Coconet TV.
Arts Council Deputy Chair Caren Rangi says, “This is a significant new resource for the advocacy and promotion of Pacific Arts, and this is our chance to write a new chapter in our own history using the voices of the people who lived and breathed these experiences.”
Writers include prominent Pasifika artists Maualaivao Albert Wendt, Selina Tusitala Marsh, John Pule, Fatu Feu’u, Lonnie Hutchinson, Nathaniel Lees, Karlo Mila, Lemi Ponifasio, Pati Umaga, Pelenakeke Brown, Oscar Kightley and many more.
Makerita Urale, Creative New Zealand’s Arts Practice Director Pacific, says, “We have been able to pivot the focus of our Pacific Arts Strategy during COVID-19 and activate the Va focus of the strategy, by using #DigitalMoana to connect us all and navigate the virtual space.”
“This project also fills a sector gap in the documentation of Pacific Arts and was created as a means to tell the amazing history of Pacific Arts in Aotearoa through the personal journeys and stories of Pasifika creatives,” she says.
Arts Council member Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban adds “Our Pacific Arts history is a living history, and Pasifika creatives have long been part of the cultural landscape of Aotearoa. This is a fantastic chance to document the legacy that they’ve created for future generations.”
The series of stories will be published weekly on the Pantograph Punch website with the first three launching Friday 6 November and will continue into the new year. Design by Shaun Naufahu of Alt Design and photography by Raymond Sagapolutele.