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Pacific artists gather for symposium in Wellington

1.The Pacifica Mamas at last year’s Fono, photo by Raymond Sagapolutele

Pacific arts practitioners at last year’s fono, photo by Raymond Sagapolutele.

Massey University hosted a gathering of Pacific arts practitioners at the Pacific Heritage Arts Fono in Wellington yesterday. 

A three-day event to support the development of Pacific arts in Aotearoa, the fono is held in partnership with Massey’s College of Creative Arts, Te Papa Tongarewa, and Wellington Museum under the stewardship of Pacifica Arts Centre.

It brings together guest speakers, knowledge holders and artists from around Aotearoa and the wider Pacific region, including the Pacifica Mamas, who recently ended their Matairangi Mahi Toi Pasifika artist residency at Government House.

College of Creative Arts creative director Pacific Herbert Bartley worked with a Wellington-based committee to decide on this year’s theme – E lē falala fua le niu, 'ae falala ona o le matagi – the coconut tree does not sway on its own but is swayed by the wind.

“This theme is apt for Wellington, but is also relevant across all of the Pacific,” Mr Bartley says. “Ancestral knowledge of the winds and its transformative nature fits nicely with the direction we are taking the fono this year.”

Artists spent the day in the Museum Building yesterday in workshops, panels and knowledge-sharing sessions and the fono runs until tomorrow afternoon at Te Papa.

2Professor Claire Robinson and fono attendee Grace

Professor Claire Robinson and fono attendee Grace.


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