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Library Subject Guides

Pacific and Pasifika: Performing Arts / Film

Films/Videos online

Some great sources of video/streaming content include:


Also see Festivals, film-makers and films and DVDs in the Macmillan Brown Library.

Festivals, film-makers and films

Native Lens Film Festival. A Honiara, Solomon Islands-based film festival celebrating indigenous stories

Pasifika Film Fest. An Australia-based festival showcases the art of Pacific storytelling through film while working to inspire Pasifika writers, directors and actors to explore links to their culture.

Pacific Community Filmmaking Consortium

Pacific Islanders in Communications

Papuan Voices

Papua Storyteller  is a cultural struggle where Papuans tell stories from their eyes. Created by Wensislaus Fatubun, a Papuan fillmaker, human rights defender and anthropologist.

QWaves "Connecting stories to action for change"

Macmillan Brown Centre's Artists in Residence programme

Tui Emma Gillies was the 2023 Artist in Residence at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies.

Find out more about the Macmillan Brown Centre's artist in residence programme here: Artist in Residence Programme

Pacific Arts Journals in the Macmillan Brown Library

Pacific Arts: The Journal of the Pacific Arts Association. From 2021 this is available online. See their special issues on Art and Environment in Oceania and Pacific Island Worlds: Oceanic Dis/Positions.

Spasifik. A Pasifika magazine covering arts, news, society, sport and more.

The Contemporary Pacific.  Each issue highlights the work of a Pasifika artist.

Māhina, O. (2004). Art as tā-vā “time-space” transformation. In T. L. Baba, ‘O. Māhina, N. Williams & U Nabobo-Baba (Eds.) Researching Pacific and indigenous peoples: Issues and perspectives (pp. 86-93). Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland.

Books in the Library

Pacific Film and Theatre

For an overview of Pasifika theatre in Aotearoa and theatre in the Pacific, have a look at these two books:


To find articles on Pacific cinema and theatre, search Multisearch and Index New Zealand. Use a variety of terms, e.g. Pacific, Pasifika, film, cinema, theat*.

Here is a selection of articles or theses by Pasifika authors:

  • Ross, T. (2020). Ethnic media and multi-dimensional identity: Pacific audiences’ connections with Māori media. Communication Theory, 31(2), 209-227
  • Sparks-Ngenge, K. (2020). The story of Holim Pas Tok Ples, a short film about indigenous language on Lou island, Manus province, Papua New Guinea. The Contemporary Pacific, 32(2), 478-483.
  • Stupples, P., Teaiwa, K., De Beukelaer, C., & Puka, T. M. (2022;2021;). Emergent film production in the Pacific: Oceanic strategies of connection and exchange. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 28(2), 221-234.

Dance and Performing Arts

Books and DVDs  are mostly found in the Macmillan Brown Library and the Central Library.

Use alternative search terms like Oceania, South Seas, Pacific Islands or just Pacific.  Narrow your search to a region or country  (e.g. Melanesia or Samoa) to get more focused results.

Try some of these examples:

Pacific Arts Organisations

Ōtautahi Christchurch

Canterbury Polyfest

FIBRE Gallery Ōtautahi. "A distinctly Moana gallery, dedicated to the display of community-engaged, digital, and heritage artworks by Moana creatives.
    Read Nina Oberg Humphries' 2016 article A perspective on Pacific art in Christchurch.

Pacific Underground
    Read an overview of 25 years of Pacific Underground

For an insight into some of the racism experienced by Pasifika artists in Christchurch, read Racism: We All Have Dirty Hands.


FafSwag Also on Facebook

Lagi-Maama Academy/Consultancy

Pacific Arts Legacy Project "A foundational history of Pacific arts in Aotearoa as told from the perspective of the artists who were there."

Pasifika Festival

Pimpiknows   The website of Ema Tavola, the 2017 Macmillan Brown Centre's Artist in Residence. Check out her manifesto devised during the residency.

Tautai "is an organisation dedicated to the mentoring and ongoing support of Pacific artists"

Pantograph Punch Pacific Arts Legacy Project


Pacific Artists and identity

Whimp, G. 2009. Working in the Space Between: Pacific Artists in Aotearoa/New Zealand. In A. Marata Tamaira (Ed.) The Space Between: Negotiating Culture, Place, and Identity in the Pacific, (Occasional Paper Series 44), 9-23. Center for Pacific Islands Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.  

Making Visible the relationship between hard labour and the Pacific: John Vea and Jasmine Togo-Brisby. Interview about Outcast exhibition at Gus Fisher Gallery, Oct 20213

Jasmine Togo-Brisby

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