Sāmoan Multiplicities: Experiences of Samoanness

The project hypothesizes that experiences of Samoanness are spatially embedded – in landscapes, journeys, and multiple localities. They are also simul­taneously, yet temporally, negotiated – through memories, narratives, and genealogies.

Researcher: Dr Safua Akeli Amaama

Research Assistant: Annika Sippel
Collections Data Officer: Sara Riordan

Overarching Project: Indigeneities in the 21st Century: From ‘vanishing people’ to global players in one generation.

Partners: Professor Philip Schorch (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat, Germany).

Funding: European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Programme.

Project description:
The project speculates that Sāmoan experiences emerge from sources, and through registers, that reach deeper and transcend the capacity to be expressed “in their own words”.

Zooming in on the inter­play of bodies, environments, and material entities (such as so-called ethno­graphic objects and work of arts spread around the globe and housed in museum collections), might offer us novel insights into why and how Samoanness remains intact despite ongoing transfor­mations: being re­shaped but not ruptured, main­taining its integrity within flexible boundaries.

Following such reasoning, the project studies Sāmoan multi­plicities past, present and future. More information about this project can be found on Indigeneities in the 21st century.

Primary outputs: Conference presentation, exhibition.

Apia, Samoa, July 1884, by Burton Brothers studio, Alfred Burton. Purchased 1943. Te Papa (C.016550)