Tupua: Iconic Afterlife and New Beginnings

Researchers: Tina Engels-Schwarzpaul, Albert Refiti, I’uogafa Tuagalu, Nooroa Tapuni
Status: Current

This project initiates investigations into transformative appropriations and iconic power in the Pacific. In collaboration with researchers in the Pacific, Aotearoa New Zealand and Europe, it will trace historic and contemporary exchanges of iconic images and objects through migration, trade, tourism and curation. At the interface of Western and Indigenous Pacific knowledges, and from different perspectives on a shared heritage, we will explore the latter’s Nachleben (survival) and new beginnings. From this, we will develop theories pairing tupua and the iconic (“the nested ideas of icon, iconic power, iconosphere, and icon-ology”) that will help better to understand material cultural exchange. To identify how Pacific, Aotearoa New Zealand and European experiences of Pacific icons intersect in the (ex)change of concepts and images, expert interviews and material from Pacific and European archives will be analysed, compared with current practices and then further teased out in creative practice-led research processes. The double outcome will consist of a print publication, as well as a digitally based exhibition to be opened simultaneously in Samoa, Aotearoa and Germany.

A consideration of the iconic has widespread implications: it can help understand how images gain traction, socio-culturally and economically, and how important concepts from Aotearoa/New Zealand can extend into the realm of icons, spaces, things and people.

 

Bibliography

Alexander, J. C., Bartmanski, D., & Giesen, B. (2012). Iconic Power: Materiality and Meaning in Social Life. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bartmanski, D. (2015). Refashioning sociological imagination: Linguality, visuality and the iconic turn in cultural sociology. Chinese Journal of Sociology Chinese Journal of Sociology, 1(1), 136-161, p. 136.

Bedford, R., Longhurst, R., & Underhill-Sem, Y. (2001). Flowers, Fale, Fanua and Fa’a Polynesia. Wollongong: University of Wollongong. Centre for Asia Pacific social transformation studies. Asia Pacific migration research network (APMRN): publ. with UNESCO.

Didi-Huberman, G., Rehberg, V., & Belay, B. (2003). Artistic survival: Panofsky vs. Warburg and the exorcism of impure time. Common Knowledge, 9(2), 273-285. Didi-Huberman, G. (2002). The surviving image: Aby Warburg and Tylorian anthropology. Oxford art journal, 61-69.

Durie, M. (2004). Exploring the interface between science and indigenous knowledge. Paper presented at the 5th APEC Research and Development Leaders Forum, Christchurch, New Zealand. The term “mutual ma-na enhancement” stems from Professor Whatarangi Winiata, Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Otaki.

Emmison, M., & Smith, P. (2007). Researching the visual: images, objects, contexts and interactions in social and cultural inquiry. London [etc.]: Sage. Especially pp. 107ff.

Hau’ofa, E. (2008). We are the ocean: selected works. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.

Holt, D. B. (2003). What becomes an icon most? Harvard Business Review, 81(3), 43-49.

Le Tagaloa, A. F. (1997). O le Faasinomaga: Le tagata ma lona Faasinomaga. Apia, Samoa: Lamepa Press.

Lythberg, B. J., Henare, M., & Woods, C. (2015, January). The Māori marae as a structural attractor. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2015, No. 1, p. 15398). Academy of Management.

MacCannell, D. (1992). Empty meeting grounds: The tourist papers. London: Routledge.

MacCannell, D. (2008). Why it Never Really was About Authenticity. Society, 45(4), 334-337.

Mallon, S., Mahina-Tuai, K. U., & Salesa, D. I. (2012). Tangata o le moana : New Zealand and the people of the Pacific. Wellington, N.Z.: Te Papa Press.

Rose, G. (2015). Icons, Intensity and Idiocy: A Comment on the Symposium. Sociologica, 9(1), 1-6.

Schorch, P. & Kahanu, N.M.K.Y. (2015). Forum as laboratory: The cross-cultural infrastructure of ethnographic knowledge and material potentialities. In Prinzip Labor: Museumsexperimente im Humboldt Lab Dahlem (pp.241-248). Berlin: Nicolai

Steinmetz, G. (2004). The uncontrollable afterlives of ethnography: Lessons from ‘salvage colonialism’ in the German overseas empire. Ethnography, 5(3), 251-288.

Tapsell, P., & Woods, C. (2008). A spiral of innovation framework for social entrepreneurship: Social innovation at the generational divide in an indigenous context. Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 10(3), 25.

Teaiwa, T., & Mallon, S. (2005). Ambivalent kinships? Pacific people in New Zealand. In J. H. Liu, T. McCreanor, T. McIntosh, & T. Teaiwa (Eds.), New Zealand identities: Departures and destinations (pp. 207-229). Wellington: Victoria University Press.

Tengan, T. P. K. (2014). The Return of Kū? Re-membering Hawaiian Masculinity, Warriorhood, and Nation. In Graham, L. R. & H. G. Penny (Eds), Performing Indigeneity: Global histories and contemporary expe-riences (pp. 206-246). Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press.

Tomlinson, M., & Tengan, T. P. K. (2016). New mana: transformations of a classic concept in Pacific languages and cultures. Acton ACT: ANU Press.

Tui Atua. (2008). Resident, Residence, Residency in Samoan Custom. In T. i. Suaalii-Sauni, I. u. Tuagalu, T. N. Kirifi-Alai, & N. Fuamatu (Eds.), Su’esu’e Manogi – In Search of Fragrance: Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi and the Samoan Indigenous reference (pp. 93-103). Apia: The Centre for Samoan Studies.

Tui Atua (2003). In search of meaning, nuance and metaphor in social policy. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, 20, 49-63.