This is the second of four conversations for the Forever Fresh Talanoa Series produced in collaboration with Contemporary HUM.
We listen in to Lana Lopesi, Grace Iwashita-Taylor and Anne-Marie Te Whiu marinate on their projects Flying Fetu and Fair Trade. This series continues with a written response by writer and curator Ioana Gordon-Smith
This episode, 'Abundant Futures', features Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Grace Iwashita-Taylor and Lana Lopesi discussing their recent writing initiatives, each focused on fostering the conditions for Indigenous writers to flourish. Te Whiu offers her experience leading Fair Trade, a collaborative First Nations poetry project, while Iwashita-Taylor and Lopesi discuss their aims to support Moana writers through the recent launch of Flying Fetu, which featured a Writers Lab and festival.
Grace Iwashita-Taylor, breathing bloodlines of Sāmoa, England and Japan. An artist of upu/words dedicated to carving, elevating and holding spaces for storytellers of Te Moana nui a Kiwa. Recipient of the CNZ Emerging Pacific Artist 2014 and the Auckland Mayoral Writers Grant 2016. Highlights include holding the visiting international writer in residence at the University of Hawaii 2018, Co-Founder of the first youth poetry slam in Aotearoa, Rising Voices (2011 - 2016) and the South Auckland Poets Collective and published collections Afakasi Speaks (2013) & Full Broken Bloom (2017) with ala press. Writer of MY OWN DARLING commissioned by Auckland Theatre Company (2015, 2017, 2019) and Co-Creater & Curator of UPU (Auckland Arts Festival 2020). Co-Director of Flying Fetu and the first moana writers festival Flying Fetu Festival (2022).
Anne-Marie Te Whiu
Anne-Marie (Ani) Te Whiu is an Australian-Māori (Te Rarawa) creative who has worked extensively as a cultural producer, editor and weaver. Her writing is published across Australia and Aotearoa. She edited Tony Birch’s collection Whisper Songs and co-edited the Solid Air, Australia and New Zealand Spoken Word anthology. Between 2015-17 she co-directed the Queensland Poetry Festival. She received a 2021-Wheeler Centre, Next Chapter Fellowship. She is a Senior Project Manager at Red Room Poetry where she devised and leads the Fair Trade project whose kaupapa is to connect Indigenous writers around the world to write in collaboration and solidarity.
Lana Lopesi is Assistant Professor in the department of Indigenous Race and Ethnic Studies, University of Oregon. She is the author of False Divides and Bloody Woman and co-editor of Towards a Grammar of Race: In Aotearoa New Zealand, and Pacific Spaces: Translations and Transmutations. In 2022, she co-founded Flying Fetu with Grace Iwashita-Taylor, an organisation committed to uplifting the work of Moana writers, and in November they held their inaugural writers festival at Basement Theatre.
Ioana Gordon-Smith is a Sāmoan/Pākehā arts writer and curator living in Aotearoa New Zealand. Across her work is a commitment to Moana arts practices and their histories. She has held roles at Artspace Aotearoa, Objectspace and Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, and currently works as the Curator Māori Pacific at Pātaka Art + Museum. Ioana is the Assistant Curator of Yuki Kihara: Paradise Camp, the Aotearoa New Zealand Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale, and co-curator of the international Indigenous triennial, Naadohbii: To Draw Water in Winnipeg, Canada. She is also the co-founder and co-editor of Marinade: Aotearoa Journal of Moana Art and a trustee for Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. As well as writing for art journals, magazines and exhibition catalogues, Ioana has contributed to publications produced by Thames & Hudson, Routledge, ARP Books and Te Papa Press.