I’m so excited to finally share our new website with you. After months of consultation and designing, we have given our online space a fresh feel and splash of colour. Whakawhetai lahi lele Steve and Emma at Simple Creatif. They are an incredible team, and have been so helpful, generous and patient throughout this process. I cannot recommend them enough!

You’ll notice that we have changed the way you can find our stories – they are now sorted by regions rather than story themes. This is because we are working responsively to the way our online Oceanic communities self identify. We know these categories and boundaries are colonial impositions and imperfect, and so we are committing to continuing this conversation around how Oceanic peoples identify with our blue Ocean and one another, and allowing that to shape how our platform shares stories.

We want to hold ourselves accountable to diversifying the Oceanic stories we share on our platform – we are aware of our limits as a team based on Aboriginal and Kanaka Maoli lands and waterways that self identify as Melanesian and Polynesian, and want to continue to push ourselves to connect with storytellers and storytelling initiatives from all over our great Ocean.

We now offer audio articles and transcripts to accompany new written, audio and video posts  – this is because we are working to increase how our communities access and enjoy our stories in the digital space.

But even so, despite our efforts, within this digital vā we will never truly be able to grasp the greatness of our great Ocean – and that’s okay! In fact – that’s necessary to protect the sacredness of Oceanic relationality. I hope this ‘haus of memories’ serves as both an archive of stories, and conduit of connection.

I think this excerpt from Albert Wendt’s essay ‘Towards a new Ocean’ encapsulates my sentiments –

“So vast, so fabulously varied a scatter of islands. nations, cultures, mythologies and myths, so dazzling a creature, Oceania deserves more than an attempt at mundane fact; only the imagination in free flight can hope – if not to contain her – to grasp some of her shape, plumage, and pain.” – Albert Wendt, Towards a new Oceania, Mana Magazine

Alofa lahi atu,

Emele Ugavule
Creative Director, Education & Community