People of the Indian diaspora in Pacific – another view through creative media

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Pacific Prana
Connecting Diaspora: Pacific Prana . . . colourful new Oceania Arts exhibition dedicated to the Indian diaspora linked to the Pacific International Media Conference opens next week. Image: Tara Arts International

Asia Pacific Report

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

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 epic altar “Pacific Prana” has been assembled in the gallery of USP’s Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies by installation artist Tiffany Singh in collaboration with journalistic film artist Mandrika Rupa and dancer and film artist Mandi Rupa Reid.

PACIFIC MEDIA CONFERENCE 4-6 JULY 2024
PACIFIC MEDIA CONFERENCE 4-6 JULY 2024

A colourful exhibit of Indian classical dance costumes are on display in a deconstructed arrangement, to illustrate the evolution of Bharatanatyam for connecting 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, also expressed through ancient dance mudra performance.

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 New Zealand 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 identifies their links to Fiji, expressed through ancient dance mudra performance.

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 New Zealand and other islands of the Pacific.

Tiffany Singh (from left), Mandrika Rupa and Mandi Rupa-Reid
Tiffany Singh (from left), Mandrika Rupa and Mandi Rupa-Reid . . . offering their collective voice and novel perspective of the diasporic journey of their ancestors through the epic installation and films. Image: Tara Arts International

Support partners are Asia Pacific Media Network and The University of the South Pacific.

The exhibition poster
The exhibition poster . . . opening at USP’s Arts Centre on July 2. Image: Tara Arts International

A journal article on documentary making in the Indian diaspora by Mandrika Rupa is also being published in the 30th anniversary edition of Pacific Journalism Review to be launched at the Pacific Media Conference dinner on July 4.

Exhibition space for Tara Arts International has been provided at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies at USP.

The exhibition opening is next Tuesday, and will open to the public the next day and remain open until Wednesday, August 28.

The gallery will be open from 10am to 4pm and is free.

Published in collaboration with the USP Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies.

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