Meng Foon in conversation with Damon Salesa

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Lecture Theatre 401-439, Engineering Building

20 Symonds Street

Auckland Central

Auckland

New Zealand

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Join new Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Pacific) Damon Salesa for an insightful kōrero on migration, identity and representation in Aotearoa today. A fantastic opportunity to hear these esteemed speakers.

This event is part of Gus Fisher Gallery's The Shouting Valley exhibition public programme.

The Shouting Valley: Interrogating the Borders Between Us features artists whose politically motivating and activating work asks us to engage in urgent discussions of injustice in order to effect change.

The works in this exhibition highlight contemporary issues relating to borders and migration, questioning why freedom of movement often appears to be a Western privilege; a subject in the forefront of people’s minds following the tragic events in Christchurch and the controversy surrounding the treatment of refugees at Australian off-shore detention centres. As a country largely populated by migrants, the exhibition resonates with Aotearoa’s diverse history and asks us to think about our own whakapapa.

About the speakers:

Meng Foon has taken up the appointment of Race Relations Commissioner, after 24 years at the Gisborne District Council. Mr Foon was elected as a councillor in 1995 and in 2001 he was elected Mayor, a role he held for 18 years. He is one of a handful of people of Chinese descent to have become a mayor in New Zealand. He is fluent in English, Cantonese and Te Reo Māori. As of 2019, he is still the only mayor in New Zealand who is fluent in Te Reo. He is a member of a number of community organisations including the Ngā Taonga a nā Tama Toa Trust, the New Zealand Chinese Association, Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust and MY Gold Investments Ltd. He has released a musical number, Tu Mai, which includes various native tracks, he has been chair of Gisborne/Tarawhiti Rugby League since 2007, and is a member of the New Zealand Rugby League Board.

Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa is a prizewinning scholar who specializes in the study of colonialism, empire, government and race. With a particular interest in the Pacific Islands, he also works on education, economics and development in the Pacific region, as well as in New Zealand and Australia. After studying at the University of Auckland, he completed his studies at Oxford University.

He is currently Associate Professor of Pacific Studies at the Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland. Previously he was Associate Professor of History, American Culture, and Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Date and Time

Location

Lecture Theatre 401-439, Engineering Building

20 Symonds Street

Auckland Central

Auckland

New Zealand

View Map

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