Toi o Tāmaki is excited to present Repatriate (2015 - ) a live-performance work by internationally renowned Tongan artist Latai Taumoepeau.
Repatriate is a powerful performance that demonstrates the dire impacts of climate change on Pacific nations. Located on the Edmiston Forecourt, Taumoepeau dances in a Perspex glass tank wearing a life jacket and floatation devices around her midriff and arms. Over a period of 60-90 minutes, the tank slowly fills with water. Using the Tongan concept of faiva, Taumoepeau performs an urgent poetic distress call using her body, repurposed props and modest materials. Struggling to maintain the choreography, the artist is eventually submerged. This powerful work demonstrates the impact of climate change for low-lying Pacific Island nations, specifically the threat of forced dispossession and displacement. The performance asks the audience to ponder what happens when an environment can no longer support its people: an entire culture will be submerged by the seas.
Latai Taumoepeau makes live-art-work. Her faivā (body-centred practice) is from her homelands, the Island Kingdom of Tonga and her birthplace Sydney, land of the Gadigal people. She mimicked, trained and un-learned dance, in multiple institutions of learning, beginning with her village, a suburban church hall, the club and a university. Her faivā (performing art) centres Tongan philosophies of relational vā (space) and tā (time); cross-pollinating ancient and everyday temporal practice to make visible the impact of climate crisis in the Pacific. She conducts urgent environmental movements and actions to assist transformation in Oceania.
Special thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their support of this project.
This event will proceed at Red and Orange with:
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