Seeking Participants: Pacific Women Artists living in Diaspora

Torika Bolatagici is seeking participants to interview for a forthcoming book chapter (Re)constructing Pacific Islander Identities: Negotiations of the ‘fake’ and ‘authentic’ (working title).

Interviews will be conducted informally via email, in February 2008. If you are interested in being involved, she would love to hear from you. Please email her at torika@netspace.net.au by 31st January 2008. Participants should be diasporic Pacific Islander women, aged 18-30. Artists (of any discipline) should be based in either Australia or New Zealand.

The chapter will explore the diverse positions of young contemporary artists of the Pacific Island diaspora. Through informal discussions and interviews with young diasporic women this chapter will draw out the voices of these women and their experience of the contemporary art scene and their feelings about Pacific Islander identity within the context of Australia and New Zealand.

As diasporic women (some of mixed-ancestry) these artists inhabit a liminal space between home and host whose work challenges and resists popular constructions of Pacific Islander identity in relation to gender, race, sexuality. This chapter addresses notions of the ‘fake’ and ‘authentic’ in relation to diasporic identity and the many ways in which the artists negotiate a terrain in which authenticity is valued but always determined by context.

The dialogue will take place between women who have exhibited locally and internationally to a vast range of audiences and represents artists at different stages of their careers.

About the author:

Torika is an Associate Lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University where she teaches contemporary photographic theory and practice. She is a current PhD candidate at the College of Fine Arts (UNSW), where her current research investigates the representation of the black body in war, and focuses on Fijian soldiers in Iraq.

Her photomedia and video work has been exhibited in international exhibitions, including: Kurunavanua: Black Bodies and War, Collingwood Gallery, Melbourne (2007); The Real Fiji, Mangere Arts Centre, Manukau City, Aotearoa New Zealand (2006); Fresh 8, Revolver Upstairs, Melbourne (2005) (In)secure, Cube 37, Frankston (2003); Pacific Notion, Macy Gallery, New York (2002); Motivation & Inspiration, McInery Building, Melbourne (2001); Lanuola: Colors of Life, Somarts Gallery, San Francisco (2001). Her recent publication includes ‘Claiming the (n)either/(n)or of ‘third space’ (re)presenting Hybrid Identity and the Embodiment of Mixed Race’ Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2004, pp. 75-85.

Author: Torika Bolatagici, Deakin University, Australia.

Mobile: 0424 375 114

Email: torika@netspace.net.au

Website: www.torika.net  

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