31 Aug 2015
Miria George from Tawata Productions blogs live from Vancouver while at the Indigenous Performance Symposium during the Western Arts Alliance (WAA) conference.
Blog One | August 31, 2015
Tihei mauri ora! Kia manuia!
Ngā mihi tautoko ki ngā tangata whenua o tenei rohe, ko Tsleil-Waututh, ko Musqueam raua ko Squamish, ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa!
In 2015, the Western Arts Alliance (WAA) is being held outside of the United States for the very first time – WAA was established in California in the ‘60s. Vancouver is hosting the inaugural and visionary Indigenous Performance Symposium (IPS).
IPS is one full day of the four-day conference. The IPS korero has been vast – bursting at the seams in fact – with indigenous nations from Aotearoa, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Australia, Hawai’i, First Nations Canada and Native America all here to progress creative, cultural and industry conversations.
Repping for Aotearoa is a multi-creative roopū helmed by Toi Aotearoa’s Muriwai Ihakara and Ana Sciascia; including Emere Wano of Tihi Ltd, Horomona Horo, Moss Patterson of Atamira, Tamahou Temara of Toi Maori Aotearoa, Hone Kouka and myself of Tawata Productions.
The IPS is proving to be another beacon for the global indigenous performance network – with vital gatherings having already taken place in November 2014 at Weesageechak Festival, Toronto, Canada; in February 2015 at Talking Stick Festival, Vancouver, Canada; in August 2015 at Yellamundie Festival, Sydney, Australia; opening up a conversation around a global indigenous touring network to continue to develop.
With the restraint of one day, the korero has been fast and furious. The authenticity and integrity of indigenous engagement has been at the forefront of IPS conversation. The diversity of the indigenous perspective has been echoed throughout the day by different nations. Authentic indigenous art can only be created by indigenous artists. Indigenous engagement - with integrity - can only take place when indigenous peoples hold positions of power and leadership within the structures of major organisations. The korero will rage on… into the next, Monday (here in Vancouver) when those who gathered for the IPS join the mainstream artists, presenters, producers.
But from one full day at IPS, it looks as if the creative indigenous world is aligning and combining its forces – and the future of te ao marama will be ours!
Miria George, #TeamTawata
Creative New Zealand is proud to be supporting this impressive delegation from Aotearoa. More blogs from Miria to come – ngā mihi Miria!