"The seas have risen, the pandemic blunders on, the last remaining forests burn and blacken the sky. In the water a flotilla of people cling to white goods. Mothers and infants in a giant freezer. Teens hug dryers and washing machines. Children and adults sit on fridges and paddle. An industrial cool room supports a whole family. There's a small community of them in the sea. Floating towards a mountain that has become an island. Their leader is Aunty Oracle Kodex, she sits regally on a trash compactor."
In this work in development, Peter and Latai will draw from their personal experiences, cultural heritage and ancestral stories, to construct a fantasy narrative that speaks to the rupture and change occurring to communities today. Their first digital outcome in 2021 as part of Dream Sequence centred on a fictional community leader from a third place, stuck in transit, warning humanity of the errors of their ways. This became the story of Aunty Oracle Kodex of Rayon Island. In continuing this project Peter and Latai will work with an animator to build worlds for the character of Aunty Oracle Kodex to make an animated film.
Latai Taumoepeau makes faivā (live art). Her faivā (performance practice) is from her homeland, the Island Kingdom of Tonga and her birthplace Sydney, land of the Gadigal people. She mimicked, trained and un-learned dance, in multiple institutions of learning, starting with her village, a suburban church hall, the club and a university.
Her body-centred performance practice of faivā centres Tongan philosophies of relational space and time; cross-pollinating ancient and everyday temporal practice to make visible the impact of climate crisis in the Pacific. She conducts urgent environmental movements and actions to create transformation in Oceania. Engaging in the socio-political landscape of Australia with sensibilities in race, class and the female body politic, she is committed to making minority communities visible in the frangipanni-less foreground.
In the near future Latai will return to her ancestral home and continue the ultimate faivā (performing art) of sea voyaging and celestial navigation before she becomes an ancestor.
Peter Polites is a novelist from Western Sydney. He has written two queer noirs, Down the Hume and The Pillars, which won the 2020 NSW Premier's Multicultural Literary Award. He also won the 2020 Woollahra Digital Literature Prize for Fiction. In 2021 he will a writer in residence and Adjunct Lecturer at UNSW Canberra and working on his third novel, God Forgets About the Poor.
Partners and Supporters
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.
This project is supported by the Crown Resorts Foundation and the Packer Family Foundation.