*Kindly note that 1angrynative also planned on doing a reading for this programme, but due to unforeseen circumstances, will not be able to join.
Maps to the Ancestors
by Peter Sipeli
Maps to the Ancestors is a poem by Peter Sipeli that leverages digital tools using sound, imagery, and spoken word. It is part of a solo performance exploring ways of connection with the ancestors premised on the belief that to be without language is to be caught in a state of being without maps, without the vehicle to allow one’s access to the knowledge of the ancestors. The idea that our DNA holds secret to our heritage implies that memory is inherited. We come to know that inside of us are all the memories of our ancestors and the return to the source becomes a spiritual process of an inwards journey into the self to unlock these secret connections. With this performative reading of Maps of the Ancestors, Sipeli hopes to map a journey into his past and across his different heritage and bloodlines (Fijian, Tongan, Samoan, Pacific Islander, Scottish, etc.) As a second generation, Pacific urbanite, and though he does not have language other than English, Sipeli believes he would be able to find lost parts of himself through his poetry and spoken word performances.
Peter Daniel Sipeli (Fiji) is passionate about storytelling because he believes that stories humanise people by showing that we all face the same choices, struggles, and triumphs. A well-known spoken word artist, he was instrumental in the revitalisation of the Fiji SLAM in Suva. He founded the Poetryshop Fiji to fill a development gap for new and emerging local writers, as well as the only online Pacific islands arts magazine ARTalk. Having worked for 10 years with NGOs as a human rights and LGBTQ activist, he has also worked in the Fiji Arts Council and in the Dean’s Office at the Fiji School of Medicine. Additionally, he managed the popularised ROC Sunday street market.
A public programme of Stagings. Soundings. Readings. Free Jazz II.
Image caption: Peter Sipeli