Samoan Queer Lives
- About the Book
Samoan Queer Lives is a collection of personal stories from one of the world’s unique indigenous queer cultures. The first of its kind, this book features a collection of autobiographical pieces by fa`afafine, transgender, and queer people of Sāmoa, one of the original continuous indigenous queer cultures of Polynesia and the Pacific Islands.
Featuring 14 autobiographical stories from fa`afafine and LGBTIQ Samoans based in Sāmoa, Amerika Sāmoa, Australia, Aotearoa NZ, Hawai`i and USA. Includes a foreword and introduction by co-editors Dan Taulapapa McMullin and Yuki Kihara. Each story is accompanied by a portrait.
“I’ve never really tried to be either a girl or a guy. I’ve always been me. And I suppose being me is fa`afafine. Then, all of the expression I put in my work is I. It’s not colored by any gender of any kind. I’ve never been cautious of what is man or woman, how I see my perspective of any situation, and it was not ever politicised or in a contest where a fa`afafine or a man or a woman is treated in any way.”
- About the Author(s)
Dan Taulapapa McMullin, Author
Dan Taulapapa McMullin is an artist and poet from Sāmoa Amelika (American Samoa). His book of poems Coconut Milk (University of Arizona Press, 2013) was on the American Library Association Rainbow List Top Ten Books of the Year.
Taulapapa's artwork has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum, De Young Museum, Oakland Museum, Bishop Museum, NYU's /A/P/A Gallery, and the United Nations. His performance poem The Bat and other early works received a 1997 Poets&Writers Award from The Writers Loft. His film Sinalela won the 2002 Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival Best Short Film Award.
His film 100 Tikis is an art appropriation video at the intersection of tiki kitsch and indigenous sovereignty, and was the opening night film selection of the 2016 Présence Autochtone First Peoples Festival in Montreal; and was an Official Selection in the Fifo Tahiti International Oceania Documentary Film Festival and at Pacifique Festival in Rochefort, France. His art studio and writing practice is based in Hudson, New York, where he lives with his partner Stephen. Taulapapa is currently working on a novel. His work can be viewed at www.taulapapa.com.
Yuki Kihara, Author
A native of Sāmoa, Yuki Kihara is an interdisciplinary artist whose work engages with a variety of social, political, and cultural issues. Her interdisciplinary approach seeks to challenge dominant and singular historical narratives through visual arts, dance, and curatorial practice, engaging with Pacific colonial history and representation as they intersect with race, gender, spirituality, and sexual politics.
In 2008, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York presented a solo exhibition of Kihara’s work entitled Living Photographs featuring highlights of her interdisciplinary art practice, followed by an acquisition of her works by the museum for their permanent collection. Kihara’s work can also be found in numerous collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the British Museum and Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand. Kihara’s works have been presented at the Asia Pacific Triennial (2002 & 2015), Auckland Triennial (2009), Sakahàn Quinquennial (2013), Daegu Photo Biennial (2014), Honolulu Biennial (2017) and Bangkok Art Biennial (2018). Kihara has also presented her works at the Royal Academy of Arts, London; Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco; Sophiensaele Theater, Berlin and the Goodman Gallery, Cape Town.
Kihara is currently a research fellow (2017/2018/2019) of the National Museums of World Cultures, the Netherlands.