Pehe

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Pehe

Pehe, the Tokelauan word for ‘song’, is an installation which brings to light the issues of Blackbirding: a slave trade that swept through the Pacific and Far North Queensland in the 19th Century, and Indentured Labour of Indians in Fiji. The installation features 4 women, each a descendent of a slave trade. Violet Aarti is a Fijian Indian woman and a descendent of the Girmitiyas indentured labour scheme; Kaiya Aboagye, an Indigenous Australian, South Sea Islander, Torres Strait Islander & Ghanian woman is a descendant of the Kanaka slave trade; and Emele Ugavule a Tokelauan Fijian woman who is a descendant of those taken during the Peruvian slave trade. Three women share their relationship with Indentured Labour & Blackbirding and the displacement it’s caused on their families and communities (Violet, Kaiya & Emele). Ugavule weaves through the past and engages in a history, ignored by those who created it, by sharing a song, a pehe, called Tagi Sina: a Tokelauan song written about the Peruvian Blackbirding slave trade. The installation is narrated by Ayeesha Ash, whose connection to slavery comes from being a descendent of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

 

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