PAA XII International Symposium MARCH 14-17, 2016

The Pacific Arts Association XII International Symposium will take place in March 2016 in the vibrant city of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Spread across four days and multiple venues for a lively cultural exchange and debate. Your hosts Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira in partnership with Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board and The University of Auckland invite you to participate.

THEME Mā te āhuatanga o mua E arataki te huarahi Hei haere whakamua. By the lessons of the past We are guided into the future. The overarching theme of the Pacific Arts Association XII International Symposium, as expressed in this Māori whakataukī, proverb, is we look to the past to inform the way we move into the future. It acknowledges those who came before and the lessons learned. The proverb further acknowledges the roots of Māori culture embedded in Oceania, a worldview shared by many cultures of the great Moana. It pays tribute to a shared ancestry and history that has been shaped by over a millennium of dynamic relationships of exploration, encounter and exchange. It is this common heritage that we seek to explore further as we gather in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, a 21st century urban setting within which to view the confluence of culture, heritage and art. Socially and physically we have arrived at a place where concepts like ‘traditional’, ‘contemporary’, ‘art’, ‘craft’, ‘old’ and ‘new’ have a renewed fluidity.

Within this overarching theme four subthemes have been identified which will be integrated throughout each day of the Symposium.  

SUBTHEMES: MANA MOANA In his influential essay ‘Our Sea of Islands’ the late Professor ‘Epeli Hau’ofa posited that the Moana/Ocean connects rather than separates Island peoples. Hau’ofa argued that the Oceanic people lived interconnected lives as spirited and heroic as the ocean they lived in. If this extensive and interwoven citizenship is increasingly how Oceanic peoples perceive and conduct themselves in modern times, as Hau’ofa contends, how is this borne out as new and broader relationships are forged in the new millennium? Topics under this theme include: Indigeneity in the 21st Century; Indigenous epistemologies; Indigenous knowledge; for whom, by whom? Indigenous gatherings - on whose terms? New generation, New aspirations.

LOOKING BACK – MOVING FORWARD How do we make sense of the future if we don’t understand the past? Social and cultural values often compete with economic and political imperatives shaping and re-shaping endeavours through time. The opportunity to reflect on the legacies of formative movements and ideas that have shaped the arts and cultural landscape of the Pacific over the past fifty years is offered here. Sessions under this subtheme will focus on performance arts. Topics under this theme include: The state of Performing Arts – Theatre, Dance, Music and Literature; Heritage arts in the diaspora; Art Collectives; Art and Indigeneity

VOICE OF THE MAKER – ENDURING PRACTICES Too often the makers themselves are absent from the discourse of Pacific art and visual culture. As this symposium is situated in the Pacific we seek to include the makers where possible, so that all are privileged with hearing their voices, knowledge and perspectives as they offer understandings of Pacific art. Makers will be the focal point of these sessions taking place on the Marae. Topics will centre around: Mana tāonga; Carving, Tattooing, Currency/Adornment, Textile arts, Clay and Feather-work – material arts in the new millennium; Oral and Literary arts, Maker and Researcher Collaborations

CULTURAL SPACE - SITES AND SIGHTS For peoples and cultures of the great Moana art is a lived experience. Today there are many cultural spaces where Pacific Arts are showcased. These range from Western spaces such as galleries and museums that provide innovative forums, to wider cultural spaces such as Polyfest and Churches where ‘unknown’ master artists regularly exhibit their creativity and ingenuity. The fast changing pace of technology has also enabled multiple means for documenting and recording as well as providing virtual spaces for instant and global sharing of art. Topics under this theme include: Heritage practices and innovation; Alternative exhibiting spaces; Community galleries; Indigenous curatorial practice; Capturing and Recording; Social media, Digital, Photography, Street Art; Performing arts; Arts Collectives  

PRESENTATION FORMATS We are looking forward to welcoming you to the Pacific Arts Association XII International Symposium. This Symposium aims to encourage a Moana centred approach which privileges indigenous voices and knowledge for genuine cultural exchange and debate. Hence you will notice a few alternative format styles. This change is also as a result of feedback received from PAA members and past delegates. This Symposium will not be a simple succession of concurrent streams of paper presentations, but as a platform for collective discussion on issues of common concern. With this in mind multiple presentation formats are proposed with a preference for sessions with open dialogue amongst participants.

Each day of the Symposium will have varied formats, and presentations may employ sharing through wānanga (fora), narratives, arts in practice and cultural performance as well as workshops, tours, keynote addresses, panels and individual presentations. We seek presentation proposals from individuals, groups, communities, researchers, artists and academics internationally and nationally that consider the above themes from multiple disciplines. In particular we strongly encourage the bringing together of participants from different countries, backgrounds, communities and/or institutions in your proposed sessions to maximise exchange, sharing and debate the concurrent sessions will be kept to a minimum. As a result the opportunity for extended individual presentations is limited and we encourage you to take cognisance of this when you consider submitting a proposal. We hope you will enjoy this varied format and we look forward to some dynamic forums. However, please be aware that inclusion in the programme may require some flexibility on the participants’ part to consider an alternative presentation format should your first preference not be available due to programme limits. A series of post-Symposium tours is also being planned to local and regional art institutions and collections, receptions, local community initiatives, and special programs.

VOICE OF THE MAKER – A ONE DAY WĀNANGA (FORUM) In addition to the symposium sessions a one day creative practitioner’s wānanga is being organised. This wānanga aims to bring together master and emerging artists in various art forms to create individual and collaborative works, and to provide a platform for knowledge sharing amongst all participants. The Symposium organisers seek proposals from artists and practitioners to participate in this wānanga from the following areas but not limited to; stone and wood carving, weaving, tapa, tā moko tattooing, clay, adornment, and feather work.

The following are the presentation formats for the Pacific Arts Association XII International Symposium:

INDIVIDUAL/JOINT PAPERS Expected to be 15 minutes in length. Individual papers will be organized by the Program Committee into 60-minute sessions of 3 or 4 papers with time for audience discussion. Authors submit one abstract of no more than 300 words.

Length of presentation time: 15 minutes 5-10 minutes Q + A 

ORGANIZED SESSIONS This may include 3 or 4 individual papers of 15 minutes each, organized around a theme with a des-ignated chair. The session should total 60 minutes, including audience discussion time. Each paper must have an abstract of no more than 300 words, and the session itself must have a title and an abstract.

Length of presentation time: 15 minutes (combined) 5-10 minutes Q + A

PANEL SESSIONS This may involve 3 or 4 individuals and a moderator/chair that poses questions to which panelists respond but gen¬erally does not require prepared papers. It should not be a set of research presentations. Instead its more open format allows for greater interaction among the panel of experts and the audience. The panel is led by a chair, with extensive participation from audience members. Speakers’ times are flexible, but the panel discussion should total 60 minutes, including audience discussion time. Organizer will submit one abstract of no more than 300 words.

Length of presentation time: 60 minutes 20-30 minutes Q&A 

LIGHTENING SESSIONS Lightening Sessions consist of a simple 20x20 presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and presenter will speak to the images. Participant should submit an abstract of no more than 300 words.

Length of presentation time: 20x 20 format (20 slides x 20 seconds) 6 minutes total

CULTURAL DEMONSTRATION/PERFORMANCE (i.e. play, dance, poetry, storytelling, art) The staging of a work that allows audience members to view it and at the discretion of the artist/s involved, the piece(s) may be introduced by a host and opportunity for audience interaction provided. Artist must submit abstract of no more 300 words.

Length of presentation time: 15-20 minutes 

POSTER SESSIONS These are held in a large space where all participants present a visual display (a poster) explaining their research. Standard size is 3’x4’. Posters may be between 3-5 feet on the shortest side and 4-7 feet on the longest size. Please include an abstract of 300 words.

FILM/DIGITAL MEDIA This may be of any length. Screening time for videos and film will be structured around the proposals that are submitted and accepted, and will include discussion time with the producer or presenter. Please include an abstract of 300 words.  

Length of presentation time: 15-20 minutes 5-10 minutes Q&A 


Please take note of the following key dates for the submission process. Abstract Submission Opens Friday 7 August 2015 Abstract Submission Closes Friday 9 October 2015 Abstract Review Monday 12 October 2015 Notification of Acceptance Thursday 12 November 2015  


All submissions must be made online via the speaker portal. The speaker portal will be available from Wednesday 12 August, 2015 (NZST 9:00am). ABSTRACT FORMAT Every submission must be accompanied by a written abstract.

ABSTRACT Introduce the topic of your presentation and how it is relevant to the theme.

Outline the context and main messages of your presentation. Word count: 100 - 300 maximum.


Please use the following format:

Title 16 point, Arial font, bold typeface, left aligned

Leave two blank lines Authors/participants/contributors

List each author: First name, Surname

Insert cultural identity for example tribe/iwi or affiliation/Organisation, Country

Presenting Author to be bold Subsequent authors on separate lines

Do not include degrees or contact details 11 point, Arial font, left aligned

Leave two blank lines Abstract Text 11 point, Arial font, left aligned 1.5 spacing

Leave two blank lines

Please note PAA Membership Requirement:

Everyone submitting a pro¬posal for participation in the 2016 Symposium must be a PAA member in good standing at the time of submission review.

Non-member applicants may join PAA at the time of proposal submission.

Selected presenters will also be required to have an active membership at the time of the Symposium (March 2016).

To join PAA or to check your membership status please visit

All PAA 2016 presenters (and co presenters) must be registered to attend the Symposium and are responsible for their own expenses (including but not limited to travel, transportation, accommodation and meals).

Presenters are responsible for the transport and security for any materials (cultural artifacts, artworks, etc) while in Aotearoa and the hosts will not be responsible for these items.

If travelling from outside Aotearoa presenters are required to have a valid passport and arrange any required entry visas. English is the language of the Symposium.

If the presenter wishes to present in another language it is their responsibility to provide a translator.

By submitting an abstract the presenter agrees for the hosts of the PAA 2016 to copy, print and disseminate your presentation and short biography.

By submitting an abstract the presenter agrees to allow the hosts of the PAA 2016 to photograph video and/or film their presentation for PAA 2016 purposes only (promotion and documentation of the event).


For those willing to attend the conference, independently from the selection of presenters, the Organising Committee can provide an official invitation based on request, which may be needed for authorisation of leave, justification for funding, application for visa, or other reasons.

CONTACT If you have any queries regarding your submission, please contact Lauren Clarke, Event Manager.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!