Relay Lecture – From the Global South
Latai Taumoepeau is an Australian artist. Her body of work spans more than a decade of presenting cathartic works about the impact and injustice of climate change on low lying islands of the Pacific Ocean. Latai means »reminisce« and Tau-moe-peau means »Battle-With-Waves«. Her names are from her ancestors from the Island Kingdom of Tonga. Through her work, Latai has been mourning the eventual loss of her ancestral islands. She centered her indigenous concepts of faiva (performance) and fonua (land/body) in her contemporary work to raise awareness and empathy for front line coastal communities. Latai is fully evolving her art practice into a deeper relationship of body and land advocacy through mitigation and adaptation; expanding her cultural performance practice to that of her ancestors for the next ten years. She will grow a tropical fruit forest and perform celestial navigation on the seas as forms of body-centered knowledge practice where the past and future are one. She brings a strong message of sustainability from the global south. Latai lives on the land of the Gadigal and sovereignty was never ceded.
»We sweat and cry saltwater, so we know that the ocean is really in our blood« TERESIA TEAIWA