Ashleigh Fata

Image: Raising Voices

Image: Raising Voices

Ko Taupiri te maunga | Ko Tainui te waka | Ko Waikato te awa | He piko he taniwha | He piko he he taniwha | Ko Ngāti Makirangi me te Ngāti Hāmoa te iwi | Ko Ashleigh Fata toku ingoa | Ko ahau tenei. 

Ashleigh is a poet, a weaver of words - originally from the soul of South Auckland her journey as an indigenous woman has led her to now live in London. In the colonisers land her love for her identity throbs even more and in this always changing world, her heritage is a constant. Writing, speaking and sharing her story as a tool to stretch her roots deeper as orators, vessels of our ancestors and voices for our land.

To see some of Ashleigh Fata’s spoken word please visit:

EXHIBITION Mana Moana | Mana Wahine, May 2019 Raven Row, London

Samoan Siva, Performance, 2019 Hanalee: Being a part of this collaboration is a means of connecting with my Samoan side, a culture I have not been immersed in. Ashleigh’s poem talks of being a Samoan woman, of what it means to be Samoan woman. As a part Samoan young woman, her word touched my heart. I am blessed and honoured to be given the opportunity to bring her words to life through movement, through siva Samoa, to be in that moment with my tupuna as they would want.

PERFORMANCE Oceania: TANGATA MOANA, July 2019 Musee du Quai Branley, Paris

E noho nei au (by Che Wilson 2006), Performance, 2019 This moteatea is a chant written in ancient waiata form specifically for the Maori taonga currently displayed in the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum, London. The words of ‘E noho nei au’ were displayed as part of the British Museum exhibition ‘Power and Taboo: Sacred objects from the eastern Pacific’ in 2006. ‘E noho nei au’ translates to ‘Waiting for Warmth.

Miss Siva Sāmoa, Performance 2019 A collaboration of words and motion that reflect the energy that we as Sāmoan women hold when we dance. The taualuga is a traditional way of moving that embraces the elegance and vibrancy of Sāmoan culture. With sound, movement and each other we celebrate and embrace the essence of who we are. This is a spoken word poem that comes to life for the love of our culture.  

The Vowels of my Language, Performance 2019 Nothing is empty. Nothing is void. Everything holds sound. Together we bind the art of taonga puoro with the breathe of our atua, our bones and tipuna and ourselves. This collabaration is a koha to our language, to celebrate its importance and poetic beauty. In this piece we share the heartache and connection that brings us back to where we belong. We are the indigenous orators of a living language, the pulse of our bloodlines and the protectors of our birth right. For REO. For real.