Politics in the Pacific: Indigenous Australian participation at the Festival of Pacific Arts

Henry, Rosita, and Pilot, Jenny (2016) Politics in the Pacific: Indigenous Australian participation at the Festival of Pacific Arts. In: Stevenson, Karen, and Teaiwa, Katerina, (eds.) The Festival of Pacific Arts: Celebrating over 40 years of cultural heritage. USP Press, Suva, Fiji, pp. 203-209.

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[Extract] Festival of Pacific Arts performances present culture as spectacle but such performances are also a poetic means of forging alliances and asserting political claims. Festivals allow people to retrieve traditions so as to make sense of the present and look to the future.

The Festival of Pacific Arts is a key site for the celebration of nation-state identities in the Pacific but it is also a spectacular opportunity for Pacific peoples to assert political claims and to forge cross-cutting ties and develop relationships that transcend state boundaries. Indigenous Australians (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) have participated at every Festival of Pacific Arts that has been held since the inaugural festival in Fiji in 1972. Because participation in the Festival is state funded and monitored, Indigenous Australians attend as cultural diplomats of the Australian nation-state. Nevertheless, the Festival provides a fruitful means for them to pursue social and political ties and forge alliances at the grass-roots level.

Item ID: 53024
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-982-01-0950-6
Keywords: Festival of Pacific Arts; Townsville Festival; Performance Politics.
Copyright Information: All rights for commercial reproduction or any form of translation is reserved by the USP Press. Permission to reproduce or translate this document in any form for profit or non-profit purposes, must be requested in writing.
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2022 02:37
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440107 Social and cultural anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950304 Conserving Intangible Cultural Heritage @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance) @ 25%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage @ 25%
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