Posts tagged ‘Free West Papua’

The eighth of 15 Actions designed to interrupt public space and raise awareness for West Papua is going down this weekend at Pasifika Festival. For the first time Manukau City will play host to Auckland’s iconic festival… this should be interesting!

I made this illustration. Action 8 is powerful, emotional, bold – I can’t wait.

Follow Oceania Interrupted on Facebook for updates.

As part of the Between Wind and Water Summer Residency at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, come along to meet members and hear about Oceania Interrupted: Empowering Collective Action from 5.30pm on Friday 16 January, 2015.

Oceania Interrupted is an Auckland-based collective of Māori and Pacific women committed to undertaking public interventions to raise awareness for issues that affect Pacific Islanders both here in Aotearoa and throughout the region. The collective is currently engaged in producing a series of 15 Actions to raise awareness and demonstrate solidarity for the people of Papua and West Papua, who have been living under Indonesian colonial rule since 1962. They state, “Becoming aware of the gross injustices and ongoing human rights violations that Papuans and West Papuans endure inspires us to mobilise awareness amongst our own communities and those around us.”

Oceania Interrupted formed in 2013 and undertook the first of 15 Actions on Auckland’s Queen Street. They’ve since assembled to march, perform and dialogue at Otara Market, Pasifika Festival, Fresh Gallery Otara and most recently on Mission Bay beach.

Between Wind and Water exhibiting artist and Oceania Interrupted member, Leilani Kake, draws on her performance art practice to contribute key art direction for a number Oceania Interrupted Actions.

The collective’s next Action will take place in Wellington on Saturday 17 January. Come along to meet the crew at Enjoy Public Art Gallery to find out more and get involved! All welcome!

Keep informed about Oceania Interrupted developments on Facebook

Oceania Interrupted produced this video for a gathering on World Press Freedom Day, Saturday 3 May, in collaboration with South Auckland-based film maker, artist and activist, Tanu Gago.

As the fourth of 15 planned interventions to raise awareness for West Papua  in Aotearoa New Zealand, Action 4 took the form of a call for women to conduct interviews and discuss the issue of West Papua, visibility and freedom with people in their lives. The interviews are woven together with footage from previous Oceania Interrupted interventions or actions, along with imagery and footage that has inspired the collective.

I love being part of Oceania Interrupted; it is life-giving and deeply empowering. Massive thanks to the women who participated and to those who were interviewed, to Tanu Gago who laboured for many hours processing footage and editing, to all the women who have been involved and will be involved in future actions. To Fresh Gallery Otara for hosting our launch and gathering on World Press Freedom Day, to the Faculty of Creative Arts at Manukau Institute of Technology for supporting the project and to everyone who has contributed to this collective effort. We ALL share one love for West Papua and in small ways, hope to be contributing to broadening awareness, mobilising action and affecting change.

Oceania Interrupted: Empowering Collective Action

More information:

Instigated by Samoan writer, teacher and community activist, Leilani SalesaThe Rise of the Morning Star was a performance undertaken on Auckland’s Queen Street on Sunday 1 December 2013 as part of a network of global events to create awareness and activate support for the struggle towards independence in West Papua.

It was an honour and privilege to be part of this collective of Maori and Pacific women standing in solidarity, activating our own awareness, moving with love and intention, silence, respect, sadness and hope. Leilani designed this performance because, “our freedom as indigenous Maori and Pacific women in Aotearoa/New Zealand is inextricably bound up with that of our indigenous West Papua brothers and sisters. We call on all New Zealanders to take notice, that at this very moment in the Pacific, there is a genocide taking place”. Read more here.

The performance included an ordered procession down Queen Street stopping at three major intersections. When the pedestrian light turned green, the performers assembled in a circle around Salesa in the middle of the intersection. Facing outward, the women raised their right fists to the sky as a gesture of solidarity. Throughout the performance, the Morning Star flag representing the West Papua independence movement, was symbolically raised 15 times, a reference to the 15 year jail sentence handed to Papuan independence activist, Filep Karma in 2004 for raising the flag at ceremony in Jayapura, Indonesia.

The performance symbolically began and ended at Selwyn Muru’s public sculpture, Waharoa, a stylised Maori gateway in Auckland’s Aotea Square. The performance inspired emotion amongst all its participants; in its silence, its visibility and in the stark juxtaposition of consumerism and commerce with the quiet reflection and gratitude for the freedom of expression, speech and for independence.

Whilst the issues are large, and there is much to know and understand, small gestures of awareness and opportunities to reflect on our positions as indigenous Pacific women are inspiring and commendable. Well done, Leilani Salesa and sincere thanks to the women who took time out to support, to be aware and be visible.

View more photos from “The Rise of the Morning Star” performance here

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