Amrita Hepi interview

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, Oceania, Passing on 2016-05-24 19:09Z by Steven

Amrita Hepi interview

Time Out Sydney

Dee Jefferson, Arts & Culture Editor

Sydney knows – and loves – Amrita for her Hollaback nights and Beyoncé dance classes, but her latest project is far more fierce

Amrita Hepi was in the final creative phase of her dance-theatre work Passing, with New Zealand-born dancer and spoken-word artist Jahra Wasasala, when Beyoncé dropped her first Lemonade single and film clip, ‘Formation’.

“I was like man… What the!? This is everything we’re going through right now. And people were saying ‘How dare she have a political statement? She’s not even that black! She dyes her hair blonde!’.’”…

Passing explores identity from the perspective of two women who not only have mixed cultural heritage, but whose dance practice spans genres as far apart as classical ballet, contemporary Indigenous choreography and dance hall…

Read the entire interview here.

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Black Velvet: redefining and celebrating Indigenous Australian women in art

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Oceania, Women on 2016-05-19 01:47Z by Steven

Black Velvet: redefining and celebrating Indigenous Australian women in art

The Conversation (US Pilot)

Sandra Phillips, Lecturer
Creative Writing and Literary Studies, School of Media, Entertainment and Creative Arts, Creative Industries Faculty
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

*Warning: This article contains graphic language that may upset some readers, while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be aware that it may contain images, voices or names of deceased people.

With her first solo exhibition, artist Boneta-Marie Mabo has been inspired by the State Library of Queensland’s collections to create new works that speak back to colonial representations of Indigenous womanhood.

She found portraits of Indigenous women without any name, or with labels such as “black velvet” or “gin”; objects, rather than women. Men on the frontier sought to control Aboriginal lands as well as women’s bodies – with or without consent.

The 2005 documentary Pioneers of Love discusses the colonial fetish for Indigenous women.

Revered author Henry Lawson was one of the first to popularise the phrase ‘black velvet’. It described the soft, smooth skin of Aboriginal women – or ‘gins’, as they were referred to then. The men who associated with Aboriginal women were known as ‘gin jockeys’. And their children were often referred to as ‘burnt corks’. – Watch from 1:52 of this clip of the documentary.

But Boneta-Marie’s exhibition, Black Velvet: your label, is more than a response to the past. It’s also about the struggle not to let others define our identity. And it’s a celebration of Indigenous women today, including Boneta-Marie’s grandmother, activist and Order of Australia winner Bonita Mabo

Read the entire article here.

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Staking Claim: Settler Colonialism and Racialization in Hawai’i

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Oceania, United States on 2016-05-13 01:50Z by Steven

Staking Claim: Settler Colonialism and Racialization in Hawai’i

University of Arizona Press
232 pages
6.00 x 9.00
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8165-0251-6

Judy Rohrer, Director of the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility (ICSR); Assistant Professor in Diversity and Community Studies
University of Western Kentucky, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Exploring how racialization is employed to further colonialism

In the heart of the Pacific Ocean, Hawai’i exists at a global crosscurrent of indigeneity and race, homeland and diaspora, nation and globalization, sovereignty and imperialism. In order to better understand how settler colonialism works and thus move decolonization efforts forward, Staking Claim analyzes competing claims of identity, belonging, and political status in Hawai’i.

Author Judy Rohrer brings together an analysis of racial formation and colonization in the islands through a study of legal cases, contemporary public discourse (local media and literature), and Hawai’i scholarship. Her analysis exposes how racialization works to obscure—with the ultimate goal of eliminating—native Hawaiian indigeneity, homeland, nation, and sovereignty.

Staking Claim argues that the dual settler colonial processes of racializing native Hawaiians (erasing their indigeneity), and indigenizing non-Hawaiians, enable the staking of non-Hawaiian claims to Hawai’i. It encourages us to think beyond a settler-native binary by analyzing the ways racializations of Hawaiians and various non-Hawaiian settlers and arrivants bolster settler colonial claims, structures, and white supremacist ideologies.

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Posted in Arts, Live Events, Media Archive, Oceania, Passing on 2016-05-13 01:48Z by Steven


Next Wave Festival 2016
Northcote Town Hall
189 High Street
Northcote, Victoria 3070
2016-05-12 Through 2016-05-18, Tuesday-Friday 18:30 AEST, Saturday 15:15 and 18:30 AEST (Local Time)

Presented in association with Darebin Arts’ Speakeasy

Choreographers/Performers: Amrita Hepi (Bundjalung NSW/Ngāpuhi NZ) and Jahra Wasasala (NZ)

Using the notion of racial passing as a catalyst for a series of movement monologues, spoken word passages and physical conversations, PASSING maps two bodies under pressure from the responsibility that comes from being of mixed cultural background.

A trans-pacific partnership of physical force, PASSING combines Amrita Hepi’s hip-hop prowess and background in contemporary dance with Jahra Wasasala’s grounded and ritualistic choreographic style to create a provocative, complex and deeply magnetic work—a physical dialogue that exists between two daughters of diaspora.

Bringing together some of Australia’s most talented creatives including an original score by Lavern Lee (Guerre, Cassius Select, Black Vanilla) and styling by installation artist Honey Long, PASSING is an evocative portrait of the ‘exotic’, and the exhausting effects the title can bear.

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Raising mixed race kids

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Oceania on 2016-05-01 00:13Z by Steven

Raising mixed race kids

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation
Melbourne, Australia

Ian Rose

The prospect of a family holiday has Ian Rose reflecting on the pleasures of bringing up mixed-race children, and the responsibility to keep them in touch with both cultures.

Let’s get this out there straight away. I am a pom. An unreconstructed, unapologetic, dyed-in-the-wool Englishman. I take tea in the morning, consider any code of football using a non-round ball to be knuckle-headed frippery, and I will automatically apologise if you stand on my foot.

Eight years and counting down-under has not made the slightest dent in my pomminess.

I was brought here by the love of an endlessly patient Vietnamese-Australian woman, a love that has borne hybrid fruit in the form of two children, now aged an exhausting five and six. They’re Aussie. But they’re English, too. And Vietnamese.

So this year, to connect them with that side of their heritage, we’ve decided to take a family holiday to Vietnam.

“Hey, kids,” I announce at the dinner table, partly to distract the boy from his greens.

“Guess where we’re going on holiday? To Vietnam! Yaaaaay!”

My daughter’s face falls into a gurn of displeasure.

“Awww,” she laments, “why can’t we go to England?”…

Read the entire article here.

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An Heir to a Tribe’s Culture Ensures Its Language Is Not Forgotten

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Oceania on 2016-04-11 02:11Z by Steven

An Heir to a Tribe’s Culture Ensures Its Language Is Not Forgotten

The Saturday Profile
The New York Times

Michelle Innis

Stan Grant, a Wiradjuri elder, at his home in Narrandera, Australia. Mr. Grant was an author of “A New Wiradjuri Dictionary,” after years of advocating to preserve the Wiradjuri language.
Credit Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

NARRANDERA, AustraliaStan Grant, crudely tattooed in a way that hints at the petty crime and drunken brawls of his youth, clasped gnarly hands across his round belly and murmured: “birrangbirrang, birrangbirrang.”

Mr. Grant had spotted a small kingfisher, or birrangbirrang in Wiradjuri, as it swooped low over the Murrumbidgee River in the oppressive summer heat, calling to its mate.

Slipping back into English, he spoke over the whirring of cicadas in the river red gum trees that line the sandy banks: “It is smaller than a kookaburra. Its mate will be nearby.”

Mr. Grant, 75, is an elder of Australia’s second-largest Aboriginal tribe, the Wiradjuri, who roamed most of central New South Wales before white farmers surged inland in the early 1800s.

Until recently, he was one of only a handful of people still speaking the tribal language, also called Wiradjuri (pronounced wi-RAD-jury), which nearly died out in the 20th century, when Aboriginals could be jailed for speaking their native tongue in public.

“You are nobody without language,” Mr. Grant said. “The world does not respect a person who does not have language.”…

…Mr. Grant was probably 8 or 9 years old the night a local policeman heard his grandfather, Wilfred Johnson, and locked him up. But he does not recall a sense of alarm.

“He was an elegant man,” he said of Mr. Johnson. “He was beautifully dressed, usually in a coat and hat. But he was black. So it wasn’t the first time he had spent the night in jail.”

After the arrest, Mr. Johnson, who spoke seven languages, refused to speak Wiradjuri in public…

Read the entire article here.

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The Forgotten Amerasians

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Media Archive, Oceania on 2016-02-25 00:11Z by Steven

The Forgotten Amerasians

Open City
Asian American Writers’ Workshop

Enrico Dungca

Unwanted in their mothers’ country and unwelcome in their fathers’ homeland, Filipino Amerasians are still in search of a home.

“Do you know your father?” I asked him.

It was a humid, rainy night in Angeles City, some 50 miles north of Manila. I was aboard a jeepney on my way home after partying with friends during a recent trip to the Philippines. He was also a passenger on that jeepney, the most popular mode of public transportation in the Philippines that were originally made from U.S. military jeeps left over from World War II – one of the more visible and enduring vestiges of American military presence in the Philippines.

“My mother is a Filipino, and my father is an American,” Eric said, as he lowered his gaze and kept it fixed on the jeepney floor. He started shaking his head and said he has no recollection of his father, although he often wondered about him — where he lives, if he is still alive, or if he remembers him or if he knew that he existed at all.

His father is a U.S. serviceman, one of the hundreds of thousands of American military men who were stationed in the Philippines since 1898 when the U.S. became the new colonial master of the former Spanish colony. Eric is what Nobel Prize for literature awardee Pearl Buck called an “Amerasian” — born of Asian mothers and sired and abandoned by their American soldier-fathers who were momentarily posted in countries that were either stages or hosts to U.S. military adventures…

Read the entire article here.

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Call for papers: Mana Tangatarua: Mixed heritages and biculturalism in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Posted in Anthropology, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2016-02-21 02:18Z by Steven

Call for papers: Mana Tangatarua: Mixed heritages and biculturalism in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Dr Zarine L. Rocha

Deadline: 29 February 2016

This volume seeks to explore the diversity of research on “mixed race”/mixed ethnic identity in Aotearoa/New Zealand. “Mixed race” identities have been the subject of growing scholarly interest over the past two decades, particularly in North America and Britain. In multicultural societies, increasing numbers of people of mixed ancestry are identifying themselves outside of traditional racial categories, challenging systems of racial classification and sociological understandings of “race”.

This volume aims to reorient the field of study to look specifically at New Zealand. New Zealand provides a particularly interesting context, with a diverse population, and an unusual state framework around race and ethnicity: mixedness and “mixed ethnic identity” have been officially recognised for more than 20 years. The proposed book will draw on research across disciplines, seeking to explore both the past and the present by looking at how race relates to ethnicity, and how official and social understandings of these terms have changed. It will focus on the interactions between race, ethnicity, national identity, indigeneity and culture, especially in terms of visibility and self-defined identity. The range of themes covered will include the complexity of the lived mixed race experience, the role of indigenous identity, migration, generational change and identity, and the complexities of a multicultural society within a bicultural national framework.

Book Overview

The proposed book will be edited by Dr Zarine L. Rocha (National University of Singapore) and Dr Melinda Webber (University of Auckland).

It will include an introduction written by the editors surveying the current condition of the field of scholarship in the country, putting this in an international context. This will be followed by up to 15 chapters of original research by a selection of senior, mid and early career researchers across a range of disciplines.

Please send your abstracts (150-200 words) and bio (50-100 words) by 29 February 2016, to: Dr Zarine L. Rocha (

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An Exploration of Racial Considerations in Partnered Fathers’ Involvement in Bringing Up Their Mixed-/Multi-Race Children in Britain and New Zealand

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2016-02-17 21:04Z by Steven

An Exploration of Racial Considerations in Partnered Fathers’ Involvement in Bringing Up Their Mixed-/Multi-Race Children in Britain and New Zealand

Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice about Men as Fathers
Volume 13, Number 2 (2015)
26 pages

Rosalind Edwards, Professor of Sociology
University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

Chamion Caballero, Visiting Senior Fellow
Department for Social Policy
London School of Economics

This article considers how partnered fathers’ involvement may be shaped by their understandings of the salience and impact of their children’s racial belonging where fathers do not share the same race as their (biological) children. We draw on findings from a small-scale study of fathers with a partner from a different racial background living in Britain and New Zealand, to consider their involvement with their mixed or multi-racial children. Bringing up mixed/multi-race children can involve white fathers in thinking about issues that they would not necessarily otherwise have to consider. It could, for example, mean that they supported their children’s access to minority cultural knowledge and challenge racism. Equally, bringing up mixed/multi-race children can involve fathers from racial minorities in thinking about racial considerations in different ways. Notably they may transmit racial pride and cultural history to help their children deal with prejudice from the father’s own minority ethnic group as well as racism from Whites.

Read the entire document (in Microsoft Word format) here.

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An inquiry on racial, ethnic, and national identity among ‘mixed race’ persons of Indian and Fijian descent

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science on 2016-02-17 19:48Z by Steven

An inquiry on racial, ethnic, and national identity among ‘mixed race’ persons of Indian and Fijian descent

University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji
February 2015
149 pages
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.5141.7360

Rolando Alonzo Cocom

A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the partial requirements for the completion of Master of Arts in Sociology

This explorative research provides an interpretive understanding of racial, ethnic, and national identity among ‘mixed race’ persons of Indian and Fijian descent in Suva, Fiji. This study was motivated by three research questions: (1) How do ‘mixed race’ Indian-Fijians identify themselves with an ethnic label or labels? (2) How do they identify with the term ‘Fijian’, given its recent institutionalization as a national identity construct? and (3) What do such experiences and views tell us about the racialization and politicization of identity in Fiji? Answers to these questions were interpreted from information generated during multiple individual and group interviews with ten ‘mixed race’ participants in Suva, who were accessed through the snowballing sampling method.

The study contributes to the discourse of identity in Fiji by presenting for the first time the experiences and opinions of being a ‘mixed race’ Indian-Fijian in a social context where political events and social structures have demarcated a set of dichotomized in-group and out-group relations and practices. It also contributes to the field of Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) and to contemporary political debates in light of the underrepresentation of literature from the South Pacific region; the limited literature on ‘mixed race’ in Fiji; and the recent state policy to classify all citizens with the term ‘Fijian’. Based on the interviews conducted, this research demonstrates how the participants reinforced, resisted, and accommodated the social structures and discursive practices of identity in Fiji.

Read the entire thesis here.

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