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The USP’s Pacific Outreach Program for Polynesia (POPP) is the first of its kind since the establishment of the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture in 1997 under the leadership of the late Professor Epeli Hau’ofa. As a visionary he states,

‘We shall visit our people … and tell them that we have built something, a new home for all of us. And taking a cue from the Oceans ever flowing and encircling nature, we will travel far and wide to connect with oceanic and maritime people’s elsewhere, and swap stories of voyages that we have taken and those yet to be embarked on. We will show them what we have (created), and learn from them different kinds of music, dance, art, ceremonies, and other forms of cultural production. We may together make new sounds, new rhythms, new choreographies …’[1] 

Building on this legacy, Professor Vilsoni Hereniko and Dr. Akanisi Kedrayate and spearheaded by Allan Alo (founder and creator of the USP Oceania Dance Theatre), take the challenge beyond the Fiji islands to the USP region. The ‘USP’s Pacific Outreach Program for Polynesia (POPP)’  housed under the USP Alafua campus Samoa, provides an opportunity for creative capacity development between the USP - FALE - OCAC-PS and other learning institutions, civil society organizations and youth groups in the Pacific region, in the much needed development and preservation of Arts in Education. Using the Arts, the program helps to raise the level of local and regional awareness towards pressing social issues and intensifies the focus on how vulnerable Pacific people and their cultures are towards these issues e.g. Climate Change, HIV/AIDS epidemic etc.

Further, the program promotes the value of connection and interaction between cultures and peoples through the use of artistic works and performances that stimulate people in the many communities in the USP region. It promotes research and documentation in both traditional and contemporary forms of artistic expressions.  The unified approach is that of partnership and cooperation.

[1] Hau’ofa: 2003, page 23

Pacific Outreach Program for Polynesia (POPP)
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Page last updated: Tuesday, April 08, 2014
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