Strictly Samoan

23 August till 2 November 2008

Photos: Greg Semu
Curator: Victoria Harbutt
Cultural Worker: Lalau Leo Tanoi
A multi-disciplinary suite of four exhibitions that announced the growing presence of Samoan families in Sydney and revealed a little of their history,culture and custom. 
The project included:
·         Aussie Aiga – Samoan community portraits by Greg Semu
·         Samoa Mo Samoa (Samoa for Samoa): The Story of the Mau – archival photos chronicling Samoa’s little known independence movement
·         ‘Ie Toga – an installation of Samoan ‘fine mats’drawn from the local community and the Australian Museum’s Pacific collections
·         Tatau Competition – photographic series and digital work by Greg Semu in homage to samoan tatooist Su’a Suluape Paulo 11
·         Catalogue
·         Public program events
 Background and Objectives
Strictly Samoan was formulated in response to the disproportionately high incidence of youth crime and family and community violence occurring in the Samoan community. The title indicates the projects overriding concerns with cultural re-connection and its aim to engage with the Sydney Samoan community – so often characterised as generic ‘pacific islanders’ – as well as a general public increasingly intrigued/awed and worried by this growing, talented and powerful immigrant group. 
Public Event Program
Children’s Samoan Costume Workshop – 18 October 2008
A cultural dress workshop and parade led by local Samoan community crafts people for Samoan and non Samoan children.
Strategies for Australian Samoan Artists – 18 October 2008
An information forum for emerging Samoan visual and performing artists. Speakers: Maud Page (Queensland Art Gallery); Lisa Havilah (Campbelltown Arts Centre); Barry Keldoulis (GBK Gallery); Lalau Leo Tanoi (Cultural Worker); MC Trey (ICE); Lucy Mendelssohn(Australia Council)
Tatatau Demonstration  11, 18 & 25 October 2008
A series of traditional tattooing demonstrations by world renowned Tufuga Tatau (master craftsman) and local Penrith resident, Su’a Suluape Petelo. 
Pacific Marketi – 18 October 2008
An all day market showcasing traditional and modern Pacific Island clothing, jewellery, textiles, ceramics and as well as a performance by Penrith Congregational Church’s Samoan Youth Traditional Dancers
Adventures in Paradise Film Program – 18 October 2008
An afternoon film program from the Mu Meson Archives. Screenings included documentaries about 1960s Samoa and the Independence celebrations.

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