Saturday 28 August, 11.30am – 3.00pm

*curriculum* with Ema Tavola

Samoa House Library and Vunilagi Vou would like to invite you to attend the August edition of *curriculum* — Indigenous curating / Curating with a social bottom line with Vunilagi Vou. Ema Tavola will facilitate a discussion on the theoretical approach to Moana curating as an act of service and archiving and as a generator for talanoa and economic empowerment. 

Ema will discuss the element of service that underpins her practice honed through the establishment and management of Fresh Gallery Otara (2006-2012), independent projects that took place as an independent curator, and the establishment and shapeshifting of Vunilagi Vou (2019-2021)

11:30am: The chosen text is a commissioned essay: [A lyrical essay about shapeshifting] By Ema Tavola. Copies will be printed out for the reading group
12pm: Tea, coffee, hot food provided
1pm: Ema Tavola's presentation and discussion commences



Samoa House Library is excited to present *curriculum* 2020. We are developing *curriculum* 2020 from SHL’s foundational *curriculum* programme held in 2019, with a focus on providing a horizontal structure within which practitioners can share knowledge and resources on a peer-to-peer basis.​

*curriculum* 2020 will take place at Samoa House Library over the next ten months. Each month an invited practitioner, or practitioners, will choose a text that has been pivotal to their thinking or way of working. This text provides a ground for their 3 week long programme. Each practitioner's programme will begin from their shared text, involve 2 to 3 reading groups, a workshop, and end with a discussion. 

Reading groups will be facilitated by Samoa House Library and take place on a Wednesday evening. These sessions allow participants to read alongside one another and collectively encounter the practitioner's chosen text. We often read out loud, ask and answer questions, and begin to critically analyse the text together.

A weekend workshop and discussion will be led by each practitioner. Practitioners are not expected to take a traditional teaching role, but are encouraged to act as knowledgeable contributors to an open discussion or activity, and may guide conversation and provide expertise as necessary.


The entire programme of *curriculum* is free and open to all. We encourage participants to engage on their own terms. The programme’s open and nonlinear structure allows participants to attend as many or as few sessions as they want. Within this programme, the relationship between teacher and learner, speaker and listener will be actively interrogated and tested. While each session will be guided by our invited practitioners, the voices of all participants are equally weighted.


Alternative education models often emerge in response to the insufficiencies of established institutions. While less secure, they benefit in many ways from their relative independence and freedom to address these insufficiencies. *curriculum*’s less outcome-oriented approach allows for more emergent qualities and forms of thinking to develop—those less likely to be accounted for in more conventional settings. *curriculum*’s discursive, conversationally-driven model aims to be both generative and generous. It is a more openly vulnerable process that embraces contingency and uncertainty. This type of conversational research is formed around convivial relations and kinship—it requires, and benefits from, ongoing collective negotiation and discovery.


Invited practitioners and chosen texts


  • Ema Tavola (text: [A lyrical essay about shapeshifting] by Ema Tavola)

  • Davina Thompson (text: Living by the Māori Moon by Wiremu Tawhai)

  • Cole Meyers (text: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg)

  • Daniel Satele and Hollie Fullbrook (text: Furor Scribendi by Octavia E. Butler)

  • Janet Lilo and Jody Yawa McMillan

  • Grayson Goffe and Tiare Turetahi


  • Roman Mitch (text: The Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict by James Belich)

  • Tash Keddy and Oliver Gilbert (texts: Mourning the Body as Bedrock: Developmental Considerations in Treating Transsexual Patients Analytically by Avgi Saketopoulou, and The Psychogenesis of a Case of Female Homosexuality by Sigmund Freud)

  • Eu Jin Chua and Elle Loui August (texts: Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment by Nick Nesbitt and The Question Concerning Technology in China: An Essay in Cosmotechnics by Yuk Hui)


  • Concluding session with SHL organisers

  • Aqui Thami (select texts from Sister Library’s collection were available for browsing throughout residency)

  • Heidi Brickell (Politics and knowledge: Kaupapa Māori and Mātauranga Māori by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal Marutūahu, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāpuhi, and A fine risk: Ethics in Kaupapa Māori Politics by Te Kawehau Hoskins Ngāti Hau, Ngāpuhi)

  • Feeonaa Wall (The Samoa Islands: Vol 1: Constitution, Pedigrees and Traditions by Dr Augustin Kramer, translated by Dr. Theodore Verhaaren, Augustin Kramer's account of his sojourn in the Samoa Islands from 1897 to 1899,  The Samoa Islands: Vol 2: Material Culture by Dr Augustin Kramer, translated by Dr. Theodore Verhaaren, Pratt's Grammar & Dictionary of the Samoan Language, Old Samoa or Flotsam & Jetsam of the Pacific Ocean by John B. Stair, and The Journal of the Polynesian Society)

  • Huni Mancini (text: excerpts from: Indigenous Time and Space by Tevita O Ka'ili in Marking Indigeneity: The Tongan Art of Sociospatial Relations, 23–33, Introduction: Context Collapse and the Production of Mediated Space by Carolyn Marvin and Sun-ha Hong in Place, Space and Mediated Communication: Exploring Context Collapse, Kaitiakitanga: The Role of the Māori Archivist by Jeanette Wikaira in Archifacts, 46–49, and Architecture from the Outside: Essays on Virtual and Real Space by Elizabeth Grosz, 122)

  • manuel arturo abreu (texts: The Dark Jester by Wilson Harris, The dreaming quipucamayoq: Myth and landscape in Wilson Harris' The Dark Jester by Jonathan Highfield, The Labyrinth of Universality: Wilson Harris’s Visionary Art of Fiction by Hena Maes–Jelinek, and Selected Essays of Wilson Harris edited by Andrew Bundy)

  • Samuel Te Kani and Gregory Kan (texts: The Ontology of Complex Systems by William Wimsatt, Robustness and Entrenchment by William Wimsatt, Entrenchment and Scaffolding: An Architecture for a Theory of Cultural Change by William Wimsatt, The Haunting of Hill House series, and Russian Doll series)

  • Mohammad Salemy (texts: Art After the Machines by Mohammad Salemy and a draft of Exhibition by Design: Auto-curation in the Age of Algorithms by Mohammad Salemy)

  • Tao Wells (text: Socialist Goody Two Shoes Hierarchy Battles)

  • Daniel Michael Satele (texts: Education: A Mini Reader compiled by Daniel Michael Satele which includes excerpts from: Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream by Greg Sarris, Te Whare Pora: The House of Weaving in Māori Weaving with Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, Whispers and Vanities in Samoan Indigenous Religious Culture by Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta'isi Efi, ‘Schools of Learning’ and ‘Tohunga’ entries in An Illustrated Encylopedia of Traditional Māori Life, Tupaia, the Navigator Priest by Anne Salmond, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, and Self-Design and Aesthetic Responsibility by Boris Groys)

  • Rebecca Hobbs, Layne Waerea, Fiona Jack, Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua, and Taarati Taiaroa (texts: Tom Friedman by Bruce Hainley, Dennis Cooper, and Adrian Searle, 104–107, The Classroom as a Metaphorical Canoe by Teresia Teaiwa, Romantic Call by Patra and Yo-Yo, and Paulo Freire, Politics and Pedagogy: Reflections from Aotearoa-New Zealand edited by Peter Roberts, and Free Dust by Layne Waerea)