TOK STORI TUESDAYs With Lagi-Maama, Katerina Teaiwa, Maggie Kaipati And Yuki Kihara on 'Art' in Banaba

Join a virtual 'Lagi-Maama Tok Stori Tuesdays' panel to hear artists Professor Katerina Teaiwa (Tabiang and Tabwewa) and Maggie Kaipati, curator Yuki Kihara and the team from Lagi-Maama Academy & Consultancy to explore 'what art is?' from Banaban perspectives. 

This conversation connects Te Uru's current exhibitions, Project Banaba and Te Kaneati, with the ongoing 'Arts' of Moana Oceania and Lagi-Maama Tok Stori Tuesdays project. The project addresses the current knowledge gaps within and across the cultural (including arts) sector by developing a more cross-cultural approach to knowing and understanding what ‘art’ is from multiple perspectives. Speaking with holders of knowledge from across Moana Oceania, the 'Arts' of Moana Oceania and Lagi-Maama Tok Stori Tuesdays project centres the diverse ways that that all people do ‘art’ and how it is organised, performed and created differently within and across different cultures. 

This discussion will focus on Banaba Island, reflecting on the examples of Banaban contemporary and heritage arts presented in Te Kaneati, and the importance of art as a form of storytelling in Project Banaba, which surveys the island's history of colonial exploitation. 

Banaba is one of five islands that will be featured in Phase III of the 'Arts' of Moana Oceania and Lagi-Maama Tok Stori Tuesdays project, alongside representatives from Pitcairn Island, Tahiti, Naoero/Nauru, and First Nations Australia.  

'Arts' of Moana Oceania and Lagi-Maama Tok Stori Tuesdays is a project conceived by Lagi-Maama Academy & Consultancy and made possible with the support of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation. 

Professor Katerina Teaiwa was born and raised in Fiji and is of Banaban, I-Kiribati, and African American heritage. She is a professor of Pacific Studies and the Deputy Director of higher degree research training in the School of Culture, History & Language at the Australian National University. She has a background in contemporary Pacific dance and was a founding member of the Oceania Dance Theatre at the University of the South Pacific, Laucala campus. She was president of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies from 2012 to 2017, and is currently its vice president. She is also chair of the Oceania Working Party of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, art editor for The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs, and editorial board member of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute and The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology.

Maggie Kaipati is considered an expert on Banaban arts, among others, including beaded costumes, pillowcases, crochet, weaving and songs. Maggie worked closely with Lilian Teirei, Yuki Kihara and Te Uru on leading and facilitating the master classes with the Banaban community and the public workshop presented at Te Uru as part of the Project Banaba exhibition. Maggie's Grandmother was a Banaban and her Grandfather was an interpreter for the British phosphate miners during WWII, relocating to the island of Rabi (Fiji) in 1945. Maggie and her husband Eritaia Kaipati came to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2005 from Fiji. They have 6 children and 5 grandchildren. 

Yuki Kihara is an interdisciplinary artist of Japanese and Sāmoan descent whose work seeks to challenge dominant and singular historical narratives by exploring the intersectionality between identity politics, decolonization, and the environment through visual arts, dance, and curatorial practice. In 2019, the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa—the national arts development agency of the Government of New Zealand—appointed her to represent the Aotearoa New Zealand Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. Kihara has been a curator of Project Banaba by Katerina Teaiwa since its inception in 2017 when it was commissioned by and presented at Carriageworks, Sydney.

Image: Illustration by Cecelia Faumuina

Tuesday 17 May, 5.30pm
Hosted online via Zoom, register your interest here