27 Jun 2018
This years Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s Residency at the University of Hawaii has been awarded to Jessica Hansell, a.k.a. Coco Solid.
Jessica is a Māori / German / Samoan musician, multidisciplinary writer and visual artist from Auckland City. She will take up the residency in August to produce a body of writing.
“I hope to provide a work that grounds and speaks to my creative Māori and Pasifika communities, especially those challenging the narratives we have been given throughout history and those living in urban upheaval and change,” said Jessica.
The residency is for a mid-career or senior New Zealand writer of Pacific heritage to carry out work on a creative writing project exploring Pacific identity, culture or history at the University of Hawai‘i for three months. One award valued at NZ$30,000 is granted each year, towards three months of writing.
“I am looking forward to having access to the amazing Center for Pacific Island Studies resources, a true Polynesian nerd dream. I am of course stunned to be able to research and create in Hawai’i, a place I regard as the mothership of so much Pacific magic and history. I also will relish the chance to produce independently while meeting the creative community there,” said Jessica.
Jessica will be based at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in Honolulu from August to November 2018. Hawai‘i has been identified as a strategic location for artists and is considered the hub of Pacific writing with numerous universities, library resources, networks, writers’ forums and publishers. It is also an important link to the mainland US and has a strong indigenous culture.
“We are thrilled that such a talented and innovative Pasifika writer from Aotearoa has been awarded the residency this year. We’re sure Jessica’s creative practice will be inspired further from this wonderful opportunity and partnership between Creative New Zealand, Fulbright New Zealand and the University of Hawai’i,” said Creative New Zealand Arts Practice Director, Pasifika, Makerita Urale.
Jessica and the other 2018 Fulbright Grantees will be honoured at the annual Fulbright New Zealand Awards Ceremony at Parliament on Monday 18 June 2018, hosted by Deputy Prime Minsiter Rt. Hon Winston Peters.
In addition to this residency, Jessica is working on a number of other projects, including an animated cartoon due for network television, due to be released later this year, and she is a writer of Taika Waititi’s and Jemaine Clement’s upcoming television show ‘Wellington Paranormal,’ coming out in June. “I am multidisciplinary – I rap, produce, write prose, poetry, for screen and comics and I am happiest when I am pushing the boundaries of what is possible within a medium,” explains Jessica.
For more information about the award, please contact:
Fulbright New Zealand Communications Manager
Ph. 04 494 1507.
About The Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s Residency
This award is offered in partnership with Creative New Zealand, the national arts development agency developing, investing in and advocating for the arts. Previous grantees have included authors Sarona Aiono-Iosefa and Marisa Maepu, poets Tusiata Avia and Daren Kamali, filmmakers Sima Urale and Toa Fraser, and playwright Victor Rodger. Applications close 1 March annually.