XIIIth Pacific Art Association Symposium

State Library of Queensland is excited to be part of the XIIIth Pacific Art Association Symposium which is a Cultural Centre event taking place from 25-28 March.

QAGOMA’s Ruth McDougall shares some of the highlights over the four days of the symposium:

Hosted by the Queensland Museum in partnership with QAGOMA, the State Library of Queensland, QPAC and Griffith University, the symposium will bring delegates to the banks of the Maiwar (river) on lands of the Yugerra and Turrbal peoples to consider Resilence: Sustaining, Re-activating and Connecting culture.

A rich range of papers, panel discussions, workshops and dynamic performance events from across the breadth of the great Pacific Ocean will engage with symposium themes: knowledge lines; embracing real wealth and value, identity and creation and collaboration.

Dr Fiona Foley will present a keynote on Queensland relationship with Aboriginal sovereign nations through her research into Aboriginal massacres and memorials for the 2004 public art commission Witnessing the Silence. Ni-Vanuatu musician and author Marcel Meltherorong will present a new performance work bringing together music and kustom magic. Roots Magik explores ideas of old and new in the context of connections to nature as well as expressions of kastom and spirt and how this intersects with the contemporary challenges and cultural change in Vanuatu.

Other highlights include Patricia Adjel, First Nations Art and Culture Director, Australia Council for the Arts will be discussing issues around the protection of traditional cultural expressions and traditional knowledge. Joining in conversation, spoken word artist Kathy Jetnil Kijiner (Marshall Islands l USA) and academic Greg Dvorak (Japan l USA l Marshall Islands) will reflect on connections across Northern Oceania through art and research as well as life histories and trajectories – both genealogical and circumstantial.

Delegates will be welcomed to country by local elders, have opportunities for back of house tours at the Queensland Museum; enjoy performances at QPAC’s Melbourne Street Green; engage with the dynamism of students and academics Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art Unit at Griffith University; take tours of QAGOMA’s 9th Asia Pacific Triennial and be hosted by local Bougainville and East New Britain communities for a night of dancing, food and performance at the symposium dinner.

The symposium will be preceded by the Australian Association of Pacific Studies annual Epeli Hau’ofa Memorial Lecture at 3pm on Sunday 24 March. Free and open to the public this lecture takes place in Cinema A, GOMA and is being delivered by Dr. Cresantia Frances Koya-Vaka’uta, Director of the Oceania Center for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies and the Pacific Heritage Hub, University of South Pacific, Suva.

What to see at State Library

Visit level 4 to see Dr Fiona Foley’s art piece Black Opium. This public artwork relates to Fiona’s research into Aboriginal and Chinese related collections in the John Oxley Library.

Plantation Voices: Contemporary conversations with Australian South Sea Islanders is open daily, Philip Bacon Gallery, level 4

Palm Island & Our People: commemorating 100 years of Palm Island  is open daily, kuril dhagun, level 1

Hear from State Library’s Lead, Collection Engagement Olivia Robertson

  • Plantation Voices: shifting the conversation
  • Tuesday 26 March:  11.40am – 12.10pm

Hear from State Library’s Plantation Voices Curator  Imelda Miller

  • Reclaiming the Narrative – Australian South Sea Islander history, heritage and culture
  • Wednesday 27 March:  11am – 12noon