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Pātaka Aniva Arts Resident announced: performer and screenwriter Moe Laga

Moe Laga

South Auckland interdisciplinary artist Moe Laga (she/they) has been selected as the third annual Aniva Arts Resident for 2024.

Pātaka Art+Museum partners with Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa to offer the Aniva Artist in Residency programme to Pacific artists who identify as LGBTQIA+/MVPFAFF+.

A trans woman of fa’afafine experience, Moe has been a member of the FAFSWAG arts collective for the past ten years and was a New Zealand Arts Foundation Arts Laureate award winner in 2021 for their collective contributions to interdisciplinary arts within Aotearoa.

Moe says the Porirua residency is a valuable opportunity for her to further develop her practice as a solo artist and engage and collaborate with the MVPFAFF+ (Pasifika queer) community in the Wellington region.

“My project aims to explore indigenous rituals, spiritualities, and their connection to the body and the cosmos, focusing on themes of time, space, and the intersection between the physical and spiritual worlds,” Moe explains.

Known for her leadership within the Moana/Pasifika LGBTQIA+ and MVPFAFF+ space, Moe serves as creative director and mother of the House of Coven Aucoin in the ballroom/vogue scene.

“I also plan to delve into indigenous dance rituals, Polynesian cosmology, and the concepts of the third gender and the third eye.” Says Moe.

Pātaka Director Ana Sciascia says they are thrilled to be showcasing this live activation later in the year.

“We’ve had two outstanding exhibitions in the past from our Aniva Resident Artists, and we’re really excited that this year will be our first foray into the performing arts.”

Creative New Zealand is proud to support the Aniva residency again.

“Pacific arts includes everyone in our enterprising and creative village so we are thrilled that another fantastic artist has been selected this year,’ says Ali Foa’i, Manager Pacific Arts, Cultivation.

Creative New Zealand's Chief Executive, Stephen Wainwright, says the Aniva Residency has been a community effort.

“We also want to thank Phylesha Brown-Acton MNZM for providing CNZ expertise advice on the Aniva, as well as many of our LGBTQIA+ arts community for championing this unique opportunity in Aotearoa. Ia Manuia!”.

Moe’s three-month residency will begin in July and culminate in a live performance on Thursday 10 October.

MVPFAFF+ is an acronym comprising the many Pasifika terms acknowledging queer identities. The terms listed are some used by Pacific peoples to describe cultural and gender identities. These concepts are more, or just as much, about familial, genealogical, social, and cultural selfhood. This is not an exhaustive list of Pacific peoples’ terms. These cultural and gender identities do not often have an equivalent in English language/terminology.

Māhū (Tahiti and Hawaii)

Vaka sa lewa lewa (Fiji)

Palopa (Papua New Guinea)

Fa’afafine (American Samoa, Samoa and Tokelau)

Akava’ine (Cook Islands)

Fakaleiti or Leiti (Tonga)

Fakafifine (Niue)

8 May 2024