• Pacific Arts Association 2017 | Call for Proposals

    The Pacific Chapter of the Pacific Arts Association announces a CALL FOR PARTICIPATION for its 2017 conference to be held on the Alafua Campus of the University of the South Pacific, Samoa.




    The Performing Arts – Making the Invisible Visible

    Apia, Samoa

    27 November-1 December 2017


    Adrienne Kaeppler has suggested that one (key) role that art plays in Pacific societies is to make the invisible visible. In particular, the performing arts have developed over the millennia as integral aspects of ritual, political and economic exchanges, and in some cases entertainment. Today, performance has been the vehicle through which Pacific peoples have addressed such issues as; global warming, dis/relocation, the loss and maintenance of cultural integrity/traditions, colonialism, and sovereignty. In this way, the arts place issues of importance in the public domain; making what appears invisible, visible.



    Pacific peoples have been connected to their land and oceans over countless generations. Their relationship with the land and sea is cultural, physical and spiritual; resulting in the creation of specific cultural identities. Generations of ‘aiga’ (family) relationships have been developed through ancestral ties that connect family histories and stories to place – all linked to the land and to the sea.  When the Pacific Islands are threatened, Pacific lives are threatened. Climate change, ocean warming and sea level rise threaten Pacific Island survival. Island environments, habitats, food security, health, and Pacific cultures risk being lost.


    How will these issues effect our cultures in the future? What will dislocation do to a nation’s sense of cultural identity? Is relocation to foreign lands a choice? And, more specifically, how do the arts address these issues? In what ways do dancers, choreographers, musicians, poets, and artists express their relationship to the land, the sea, to each other; and even dis/relocation.


    This conference would like to examine how the arts and arts practitioners (artists, academics, museum personnel) are addressing these critical issues.


    They invite proposals from performance artists, researchers and scholars, curators and artists to engage with and challenge this broad theme.  Ideally, participants will be open to sharing their knowledge and experiences with other conference attendees building networks for ongoing intellectual, cultural, and social exchange.


    Typically conference papers are allocated 20 minutes with 10 minutes for discussion. As this conference is performance based, timeframes will be more fluid. Please include in your proposal the time necessary for your presentation as well as any and all technical (audio visual, staging) requirements you may need.


    Conference details (costs, hotel, schedule) will be made available as soon as possible…we will also try to keep costs as low as possible…



    Abstracts or Proposals are due prior to 31 March to Karen Stevenson:

    Please inform Karen of your interest/intention to submit a proposal as soon as possible; this will help considerably in our planning.


    (left) Cecil King Wunge, Untitled, 1981 via Pasifik Nau (right) Rosanna Raymond, Masi Maiden, 2013. Images from Pacific Arts Association Facebook page.


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