Photography from Pasifika: New Digital Storytellers in Aotearoa

VII Academy recently partnered with Creative New Zealand to provide a program for Pasifika creatives from Aotearoa. In the first workshop in the program, which was recently completed, VII photographer Christopher Morris, supported by Pacific photographer Raymond Sagapolutele, worked with nine emerging storytellers to develop new skills and new stories.

To see and discuss the Pasifika perspective, VII Insider’s David Campbell interviewed some of the participants, regarded as emerging storytellers, including Frank Falaniko Talo, Jasmine Tuia, and Siniva Williams who recently participated in this VII Academy workshop. The full recording of this discussion can be viewed on VII Insider (free membership required to view).

The group discussed questions such as, is there a Pasifika perspective in photography? How does a Pasifika perspective challenge conventional visual representations of Aotearoa? What stories are emerging from a Pasifika perspective?

The photo essays from all the participants are published below.

Mundane 'Ofa by Emily Mafile'o

Tahā Māori by Frank Falaniko Talo

‘Tahā Māori’ translates to Māori identity, Māori character, Māori side, Māori heritage, Māori ancestry, Māori descent. It is the connectivity that binds family, friends, cultures and traditions together even across generations.

Aiga by Jasmin Tuia

Photo essay by Nick Netzler

This series of images follows Andrew Davy, a retired farmer from Taranaki as he continues to find balance between family and farm work. The 80-year-old has dedicated his life to working on the land that his own father did before him. This land is situated in the shadow of a mighty volcano–Te Mauga-o-Taranaki–on the west coast of the north island of Aotearoa. Andrew remains the oldest living resident, who was born and is still living in the district of Auroa in Taranaki.

Alofa by Penina Momoisea

“Alofa” translates to ‘love’ in Samoan. Alofa is the connectivity that binds family, friends, cultures and traditions together even across the moana (ocean).

Manatu (Memories) by Siniva Williams

Sunday Best by Soteria Ieremia