Malanga: the voice of positive dissonance
Faumuina Khakh, Cecelia
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Malanga is a creative practice thesis that proposes the notion of positive cultural dissonance. This construct questions the nature of identity loss experienced by young urbanised Pacific people in Auckland, New Zealand. Because Pacific Island youth in New Zealand are often perceived as holding more than one contradictory belief at the same time (Statistics New Zealand, 2006; Bush, Chapman, Drummond, & Fagaloa, 2009), the thesis suggests by example that such dissonance might operate as a substrate for rich cultural expression. In considering cultural dissonance, the thesis proposes a creative re-evaluation of the conventions of Malanga (speech giving), such that this might contribute to an oratorical work that demonstrates how Pacific Island women’s experiences from five generations of one family, might be creatively constituted as a form of contemporary performance. The address combines printmaking, morphing illustration, poetry and oratory to consider both people and place as sites of synergetic cultural expression. The use of performance and poetry within the oration relates to certain Pacific traditions where information is passed down lyrically through generations by modes of address that transcend the limitations of the written word.