New work by Antonio Filipo, Leilani Kake, Sean Kerrigan, Mele Penitani, Genevieve Pini and Siliga David Setoga at Fresh Gallery Otara | November 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008


We dwell in the under current, why and for how much longer.

I was brought up on a diet of humble pie. Always lower yourself son, take the low road, respect authority never under any circumstance shall you question or challenge the higher power, listen to your teacher and do as your told. You have no power relinquish it to your parents, to your minister, to your teacher, to your elders, to your Matai, to your culture. You are who they say you are, defined externally by our cultural 'stop and go' men.

In this new world where we've learned the rules of engagement we've given our power to old world leaders who don't even know how to play the game. Is our culture keeping us down, is it the sub-marine thats keeping us sub-median. I agree with Sean that the death of culture lies in its definition. We have practised the art of defining what is fa'aSamoa yet the principles of what it means to be Samoan so far removed that we're now out of touch. Samoan culture to me has become a facade for the old world leaders (matais/ruling class) to inflate their egos off the backs of the new world financiers (me), all in the name of culture and what it means to be Samoan. Culturally keeping up with the Jones' yet originally it was all about sharing and survival.

I have always classed myself as Samoan first, being kiwi was in the under-current. I was a Samoan incidently from New Zealand (though born and bred here), but in questioning and analysing my identity learning the rules of fa'aSamoa and to my disgust what we practise is galaxies away from the fa'aSamoa manifesto 1.0 that I have realised that the simple act of questioning and challenging is my kiwiness and that my fa'aSamoa is the under current. Although my Samoan roots strong and prevelant runs through me like a hydrodam it is filtered through and gives power to my kiwiness. No longer will I do as my parents did as they inturn have done as their parents did, its a whole new world, the times they are a change'd (no dis-respect and with all honour due). We are destined to rise we just have to let go of what is holding us down. We're not in a Sub-marine we're in a blimp (small nonrigid airship) that's under water.

In relation to Meat and Lollies? Food glorious food (next blob)