Huni is an archivist, writer and creative born in Los Angeles, USA and based in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her heritage is Tongan (Mu’a – Tongatapu, Hihifo – Niuatoputapu) and Italian (Grillara, Monti – Rovigo). Huni’s work looks at technology, memory and nuances of indigenous experience within the 21st century Moana-Pacific. Her 2016-17 MA thesis looked at indigenous self-determination through video game and app development. She currently works at the Archive of Māori & Pacific Sound, University of Auckland, and is a team member at RM Gallery.
Huni is interested in fananga (Tongan folk tales) as a storytelling medium and how fananga can be adapted to include Tongan experiences in the diaspora. She is interested in how fananga can resist dominant narratives by reflecting cultural identity as a living, breathing phenomena as opposed to understandings informed by the limiting dialectics of past and present.
essa may ranapiri
essa may ranapiri (Ngaati Wehi Wehi, Ngaati Takataapui, Clan Gunn) is a poet from Kirikiriroa, Aotearoa. Their river is full of shit and so they are angry about it. They have a book of poetry out now called ransack and that is a threat. They will write until they’re dead. Give the land back.
Vaughan Rapatahana commutes between Hong Kong SAR, Philippines and Aotearoa New Zealand. He’s widely published across several genres in Māori, English and other languages.
Ruby Solly is a writer, musician, taonga puoro practitioner, and music therapist from Kaai Tahu and Waitaha. She has been published in journals such as Poetry NZ, Starling, Landfall, Sport and Brief amongst others. As a musician and taonga puoro player she has performed with artists such as Yo-yo Ma, Whirimako Black, and Trinity Roots. Ruby is a researcher in the fields of mental health and taonga puoro. Her first book is being published by Victoria University Press in 2021.
Ashleigh Taupaki creates abstract representations of existing places to portray the relationships between land, body, and identity. Taupaki explores Maaori ideas of place-making and spiritual interconnectedness through the casting and experimentation of hard materials such as wood, concrete, and metals. Her work is also heavily informed by indigenous politics and writings, as well as mythological stories and histories connected to place. These places include the Waitakere area where the artist currently resides, and the Hauraki region where her iwi, Ngaati Hako, originate from.
Stacey Teague (Ngaati Maniapoto/Ngaa Puhi) is a writer from Taamaki Makaurau, currently living in Te Whanganui-a-tara. She has a website: staceyteague.com
Arielle Walker and Emily Parr
Arielle Walker (Ngaaruahine, Taranaki, Ngaa Puhi, Paakehaa) is a Taamaki Makaurau-based contemporary artist, writer and maker. Currently completing a Master of Visual Arts at AUT University, her practice sits within the intersections and connections between language and craft, focusing on tactile storytelling and ancestral narratives.
Emily Parr (Ngaai te Rangi, Moana, Paakehaa) makes video art centred around specific ecologies: the relationships between people, whenua, and social and political frameworks. Her current research project (towards a Master of Visual Arts) is on settler-indigenous relationships around Te Moananui a Kiwa. Through activating her ancestral stories, her moving-image practice considers rootedness, belonging, and interconnection. She is also a member of Accompany, a collective of artists formed to support community organisations and social movements through making posters, recording actions, and filming short documentaries.
We have shared a studio and worked alongside each other for the past year. Our practices have been influenced by this relationship: sometimes converging, always buoying. First conceptualised through St Paul St Gallery’s Speaking Surfaces project, Whatuora is part of an ongoing conversation, a beginning point, from which reciprocal practices and shared haerenga unfold. Together, we reflect on the passing down of knowledge, the repairing of ruptures, and the bridging of time.