past event

Moana Calling Me Home: Artist talk with Emily Parr

Thursday 3 Aug 2023

Emily Parr, Digging at the Roots (film still from Moana Calling Me Home), 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

Emily Parr, Digging at the Roots (film still from Moana Calling Me Home), 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

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Join us for a conversation with artist Emily Parr and curator Brooke Pou about Parr's film Moana Calling Me Home, on show in Enjoy's screening room as a part of Motherland Homeland.

Seeking stories in mountains, burial places, archives, museums, and waters, the works journey to three of the artist’s ancestral homelands: Tauranga Moana in Aotearoa, Upolu in the Sāmoan Islands, and Tongatapu and Vava’u in the Kingdom of Tonga. Each story links to another, threading loops through space and time, spinning the web of relationships. Whakapapa—the placing in layers—offers a filmic language through which to connect relational fragments, while storying weaves these layers together into living narratives. Video, sound, drawings and voiceover connect seven generations, from Europe to Moana Oceania, honouring the lives of Parr’s tīpuna wāhine and strengthening our collective story. This transformational research project is a haerenga—a journey—of reconnection with whakapapa, with ancestral relationships, and with Te Moananui a Kiwa: the ocean and her islands from which these relationships emerged.


Emily Parr (Ngāi Te Rangi, Moana, Pākehā) is an artist living in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her moving-image practice weaves through time and space, exploring systems of relation emerging from Te Moananui-a-Kiwa. Emily’s master’s research on settler-indigenous relationships traverses oceans and centuries, seeking stories in archives and waters on haerenga to her ancestral homelands of Tauranga Moana, Sāmoa and Tonga. Her current doctoral project considers the responsibilities she has inherited through her ancestral legacies and, in particular, to her family’s collection held by museums. She is also part of the Vā Moana cluster at Auckland University of Technology and is a research associate with Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum.