Welcome to Talanoa, a digital space for Pacific storytelling. Talanoa connects Pacific people around the world, through the power of our stories.
Do you have a story to tell? Do you think stories are important? Are you looking to connect with Pacific people around the world? Then you’ve come to the right place. Sit down and talanoa with us, an inclusive global community of Pacific people who are sharing their stories online.
In many Pacific languages, talanoa means to tell a story, or have a conversation. Seu’ula Johansson Fua describes it perfectly:
“Talanoa is a generic term referring to a conversation, chat, sharing of ideas and talking with someone. It is a term that is shared by Tongans, Samoans, and Fijians. Talanoa can be formal, as between chiefs and his or her people, and it can be informal, as between friends in a kava circle. Talanoa is also used for different purposes; to teach a skill, to share ideas, to preach, to resolve problems, to build and maintain relationships, and to gather information.” – The Kakala Research Framework, Seu‘ula Johansson Fua.
Creative Director // Emele Ugavule
She is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts & the National Institute of Dramatic Art. She has performed live with Solange Knowles & the Chinati Foundation, The Joan, Griffin Theatre Company, Belvoir St and at Black Girl Magic, Yirramboi Festival, Transoceanic Visual Exchange. She has also worked in film and television, featuring in ABC and Playmaker Media’s series, The Code. Emele’s visual art and film has exhibited in Australia & Barbados. She recently produced the AV series, The Places We Call Home, for Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIIC), Cowbird & PBS. As a creative director & photographer Emele has worked with the likes of Ngaiire, Wallace, Ric Rufio, Kate Wadey & The New Venusians ; as a videographer shes worked for Fluir. Emele also has a passion for fashion and design and has styled, designed and made costumes for Sampa the Great. As a theatremaker and producer Emele has shared talanoa via Out of the Box, Huffington Post, and Audrey Journal.
Founder // Arieta Tegeilolo Talanoa Tora Rika
Arieta founded Talanoa in January 2015. Born in Australia, she spent most of her childhood and teenage years in Tonga, New Zealand and Fiji. Her mother is Tongan (Kolomotu’a, vasu i Lakeba, Lau) and her father is Fijian (Somosomo, Gau).
Talanoa began with a dream of creating a digital marketing agency for the Pacific, incorporating Arieta’s love of writing and storytelling to help raise brand awareness. After sharing the stories of a few Pacific people she knew, Arieta soon realised Talanoa was empowering people by giving them a safe space to candidly share their experiences and truths without judgement or censorship. She then decided to shift her full focus on writing and sharing Pacific stories, and hasn’t looked back since.
Since founding Talanoa in 2015, Arieta has shared her knowledge of Pacific storytelling with international organisations such as the World Bank and LAUNCH, Australian based agencies like S1T2, Millipede, SecondMuse and Keep Left, as well as grassroots charity organisations such as the Australian Fijian Rugby League. As a Pacific writer and storyteller, Arieta’s work has been published by BBC Worldwide, ABC News (Australia), Fiji Times, Samoa Observer, Nuku’alofa Times (Tonga), Coconet TV (New Zealand and the Pacific), Stella Magazine (Papua New Guinea). Arieta has also shared talanoa via podcasts and radio shows on SBS Radio, ABC Radio National, ABC Pacific Beat, USA Today and BBC World Service World Have Your Say.