Connecting Diaspora: Pacific Prana at the 2024 Pacific Media Conference

 

An exhibition from Tara Arts International has been brought to The University of the South Pacific as part of the Pacific Media Conference this month.

In the first exhibition of its kind, Connecting Diaspora: Pacific Prana provides an alternative narrative to the dominant story of the Indian diaspora to the Pacific. The exhibition is open to the public from 3 July-28 August 2024 from 10am to 4pm with free entry.

The epic altar Pacific Prana has been assembled in the Oceania Centre Gallery by installation artist Tiffany Singh, in collaboration with journalistic film artist Mandrika Rupa and dancer and film artist Mandi Rupa Reid.

A colourful exhibit of Indian classical dance costumes is on display in a deconstructed arrangement to illustrate the evolution of Bharatanatyam to connect the diaspora.

Presented as a gift to the global diaspora, this is a collaborative, artistic, immersive installation experience of altar, flora, ritual, mineral, scent and sound. It combines documentary film journalism, providing political and social commentary expressed through ancient dance mudra performances.

The 120-year history of the people of the diaspora is explored, beginning in India and crossing the waters to the South Pacific by way of Fiji, then on to Aotearoa and other islands of the Pacific.

This is also the history of the ancestors of the three artists of Tara International who immigrated from India to the Pacific and identified their links to Fiji.

Tiffany Singh, Mandrika Rupa, and Mandi Rupa-Reid offer their collective voice and novel perspective of the diasporic journey of their ancestors through epic installations and films.

A journal article on documentary making in the Indian diaspora by Mandrika Rupa will also appear in the 30th edition of Pacific Journalism Review to be launched at the Pacific Media Conference held in Suva from 4-6 July. Support partners are Asia Pacific Media Network and USP.

Exhibition space for Tara Arts International has been provided at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies at The University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji.

 

 

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