Mana Moana | Mana Wahine Exhibition / by Ahilapalapa Rands


"Koropupu te toto o te moana i ahau,

koia ko tōku oranga, tōku whare wānanga, tōku pouarahi,

ko au ko te mauri o te moana,

ko te mauri o te moana ko au”

“The blood of the ocean flows through me, my sustenance,

my nest of higher learning, my navigator.

I am the living essence of the ocean,

the living essence of the ocean is me”

The Mana Moana | Mana Wāhine exhibition is an exploration of lived realities and philosophies indigenous to Te Moana Nui A Kiwa (Oceania/Pacific), that is reflected in wāhine (feminine), as a key source of mana (power/strength).

In acknowledging Te Moana Nui A Kiwa as our oldest shared ancestor we draw a connection between the health and wellbeing of our ocean in relation to the strength and power of our women.

This articulation of wāhine (feminine) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship of natural and physical resources) opens up dialogue about the multiplicities that arise today.  We seek to widen understandings of our own cultural practices that sit outside the confines of a homogenised, singular idea of western feminism.

In*ter*is*land Collective has invited whānau (extended family) - artists, writers, academics and community members who have spent time in MOKU (London HQ) to contribute thoughts, ideas, work, performance, writing and images that will document our residency at Raven Row in celebration of Mana Moana | Mana Wāhine.


In*ter*is*land Collective is made up of artists, cultural practitioners, curators, community workers and educators from the vibrant community of Pacific Island people living in London and Europe, and those that are visiting from around the world.

Our primary aim is to establish and foster relationships between people of Te Moana Nui A Kiwa, strengthening our connections across our oceans and islands. In addition to this we produce events and secure spaces for Pacific Island arts and culture and provide space for community gatherings.

Founded by Jo Walsh, Lyall Hakaraia, Jessica Palalagi and Ahilapalapa Rands, our group of artists, curators and community organisers weave and connect to a network of creative practitioners from around the Te Moana Nui A Kiwa including but not limited to Hawaiʻi, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Fiji, Kuki Airani (Cook Islands), Rapanui (Easter Island), Tokelau, Tonga, Tahiti, Sāmoa, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Dreamtime (Australia).

Contributing Artists:

Julia Mage’au Gray, Shakaiah Perez, Salote Tawale, Te Maru o Hinemihi, Tui Emma Gillies and Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows, Andrea Low, Te Rā Ringa Raupa, Keri Mei Zagrobelna, Pelenakeke Brown, Momoe Tasker, Crystal Te Moananui-Squares, Lana Lopesi, Aata DeVera, Heneba Gutchen, Keva Rands, Jaq Brown, Miriama Grace-Smith, Vanessa Marjoribanks, Jeanine Clarkin, Te Ataraiti Waretini, Lyall Hakaraia, Ariana Davis, Gutts (music), Peta-Maria Tunui (poetry), Ashleigh Fata (Poetry) & Hanalee Lewis-Vaike (Dance).