Extended 'āiga of Vā Moana gathered to celebrate the successful submission of Rosanna Raymond’s MPhil and Lana Lopesi’s PhD. Both Lana and Rosanna are key members of the Vā Moana Pacific Spaces research cluster and we are lucky to have had them working with us.
Rosanna Raymond’s MPhil research — Conser. V Ā. tion | Ac t i. V Ā. tion: Museums, the body and Indigenous Moana art practice — explores the performative body based on the Samoan concept of vā (reciprocal and sustained relational space) to develop tools for current museum practice related to the Moana Pacific. By focusing particularly on the museum practice of conservation, Rosanna puts Moana Indigenous ontologies, epistemologies, and methodologies at the centre of her creative research to see how Moana artists collaborate with museum archives, to create new works from the collections and to keep warm and nurture the connections between communities and museum measina (treasure).
Lana Lopesi is an author, art critic, editor and multidisciplinary researcher. Her PhD research — Moana Cosmopolitan Imaginaries: Toward an Emerging Theory of Moana Art — examines the way a digital native generation of Moana artists with connections to Aotearoa, and part of global worlds today, imagine their subjectivities, their cultures and their places in the world through contemporary art. Using the methodology of su'ifefiloi, which allows for the combination of many parts, this research works toward the emerging theory of Moana Cosmopolitan Imaginaries to consider today’s global condition of overwhelming interconnectivity as experienced by Moana people.
It was very special to hear from and celebrate the achievements of two amazing Moana artists, writers, performers, mothers, and academics: Rosanna Raymond and Lana Lopesi. One of our attendees, Annette, shared her reflection of the evening:
It was my joy to come along to the Vā Kōrero and experience the beautiful wairua, speakers and kai. I soon moved from the back row further to the front. The incredible presentations of Rosanna Raymond and Lani Lopesi were expansive, interesting and resonant gifts, that greatly help my own MVA project and cultural understandings. Ni sa bula vinaka matavuvale. Thank you very much family for inviting me along to the Vā Moana community, see everybody next time.