UPU is a celebration of diverse poetry from across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa (The Pacific Ocean). It is an hour long experience of spoken-word by seven different actors, co-produced by Silo Theatre and Auckland Arts Festival.
The multiple poems performed in UPU are a drop in the vast, deep, ever-expanding moana of literature in Oceania. They cover the diverse and ongoing experiences of colonisation and capitalism across the Moana. Tourism, sea level rise, identity crisis, violence and disease are all captured in impassioned words that take you on a deeply harrowing yet empowered journey. As a Pākehā it isn’t easy to listen to, but nor should it be. The mamae and its whakapapa must be heard. We must pursue productive discomfort. UPU is an act of resistance, it is re-owning and decolonising, it is premised on unification and connection. It brings the past and future into the present, which is imperative to moving forward. So, I urge you, I urge you, please see UPU, then after go to your local library and immerse yourself in more literature from around Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa. It’s diverse depth is vast and never-ending, and exposing ourselves to it is pertinent in engaging with decolonisation and making space for its bumpy, humbling journey.
10/10: The highlight of the season