Fijian (Kadavu vasu Bua)
Photography / Digital Art / Poetry
Postcards Unlocked #18
I was born and raised in Fiji. I have some of the most incredible and enchanting childhood memories. Everything was always green, lush, thriving and beautiful.
The land calling us into dusk when we’d play games all day long, feeding us with mangoes and guavas, holding firm our feet when we’d climb the trunks of tall coconut trees and always cushioning our fall on thick wet grass. I didn’t realise how blessed I was to call this home, to be part of this ancient bloodline until much later in life.
I was also raised in Australia, U.S, Aotearoa and the U.K. I took on the form of a “Third Culture Kid” from the age of 6 when we moved to the U.K. Always in and out of Fiji, always reminded of what was and what could have been.
My parents, both Fijian intellectuals, activists, artists, philosophers, and academic art lovers; were both contemporary and traditional in their approach to raising my brother and I. This heavily influenced the lens with which I perceived creativity.
My artform is digital, photography and poetry. It is largely inspired by being raised as an Indigenous Fijian woman on stolen lands and the land of my ancestors. I love to celebrate the “oneness” of indigenous peoples by dismissing the geo-political borders that colonialism has structured around us. My creative expression is also stirred by thoughts that my great great great grandchildren will see my works one day. Above everything I try to centre our Moana family, our connections to land, ocean, lineages and how we have overcome, survived and continue to prosper.
I use bodies, colour and words to convey na i cegu (energy). I like to think of my process as throwing all of my realities and imaginings into the cosmos and the end result is whatever it throws back! I travel between realms, physical and spiritual, the past, present and future and I exchange na i cegu with the entities that inhabit them – my ancestors, the land, moana, mana etc. In these exchanges I learn and unlearn my story again and again. And because of this I am able to create something that centres my indigeneity and my people.
The use of our bodies also serves as the perfect vessel for energy that is exchanged between realms. Creating has been healing and empowering for me and I hope this same energy is exchanged with anyone who connects with it.