What's On

Toe fai!

Studio Kiin

Presented in Season 2 2022

World Premiere
Commissioned and produced by Arts House as part of BLEED 2022.

Friday 23 September

75 mins

Pay if you can $35
Standard $20 
A small transaction fee will be charged per order.

This is an all ages event

English & Gagana Tokelau

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

Auslan Interpreting
Wheelchair Accessible
Assistance Animal
Assistive Listening
Quiet Space Available

Through rich verbatim storytelling and powerful dance, Toe fai! looks at the ways our memories betray us and imagines a future where descendants cannot visualise an inheritance. 

Meaning ‘Do it again’ in Gagana Tokelau, Toe fai! picks at the complex tapestry of memory, exploring the usefulness of forgetting, the unforgiving immortality of memories in the digital age, and the necessity of procedural memory to ensure the survival of embodied knowledge. 

Through verbatim storytelling Emele Ugavule weaves together a narrative that asks ‘what happens when technology enables the procedural memory of our ancestors to dissolve?’ Bringing together stories from across generations, and choreographed by movement artist Amy Zhang, Toe fai! is a timely reminder of what we have yet to lose. 

Toe fai! is the live accompanying work by Studio Kiin of Kafai e he kitea e koe ni ata ko tona uiga ko tō tino e he ia iloa fakalogo ki ona laloga (Gagana Tokelau) presented as part of BLEED – a biennial live event in the everyday digital – featuring contemporary arts commissions across multiple IRL and digital platforms. BLEED runs online and in person from Monday 29 August to Sunday 25 September.

You can explore Studio Kiin’s full digital work, Au mino ni nanuma, here.


Artist Statement

I often return to the dilemma that “social” media creates for embodied practices of kinship and story making. When I think about feelings, racing through my veins & synapses connecting, I wrestle between intentional community building and dissolving, and where they both meet consent in the digital. I ask myself over and over and over “How do I measure consent? Am I making informed decisions? Who are my decisions in the digital responsible to?” And these questions return me to the crisis that lingers at the precipice of our fingertips – The unknown unknown. The liminal space. My favourite Oceanic theological scholar & close kin, Brandon Tacadena, speaks to the feeling of seeing something you cannot interpret as diaspora as the “anticipation of your own grief”. Kafai e he kitea ni ata ko tona uiga ko to tino e he ia iloa ko tona laloga ma fakalogo contemplates the domino effect of this pending grief across a century through imagining the reality of diaspora in the digital, and projecting the future of a digital afterlife that automates and immortalizes our stories, forever reminding us of our own memories, so that we do not have to.

Following the journey of a museum tour guide, audiences are invited to pull apart how the digital numbs, redirects, and reconstructs our memories, micro-challenging how we feel, how we think we feel and how we articulate how we feel. It pulls a mirror on how the virtual allows us to mistake the name for the thing, the messenger for the message and calls us to assert our digital sovereignty without losing the wisdom of our bodies.

About the Artists

Emele Ugavule
Emele Ugavule is a Tokelauan Fijian storyteller. Her research and practice area of interest is Oceanic Indigenous-led storytelling, working across live performance, screen & digital media as a writer, director, creative producer, performer, educator and mentor. Her work explores creative processes and outcomes grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing, and nurturing the vā where embodiment, cultural expression, digitisation and neuroscience intersect.

Linda Iriza
Linda Iriza lives and works in Kwinana, Walyalup, Boorloo and across many other borders in the hopes of a borderless liberated world. Linda Iriza is a Rwandan people weaver, creative producer and artist currently living on Nyoongar Boodjar. Her work centres African youth and continues to create community projects that bring them together physically and digitally. She does this through collectives like Soul Alphabet, where they support young Black and Brown creatives through events, art exhibitions, workshops and various other projects.

Natasha Ratuva
Natasha Ratuva (she/her) is a Fijian (Kadavu vasu i Bua) born and raised multi-disciplinary creative living on Ngāti Rakaiwhakairi whenua in the Wairarapa, Aotearoa (NZ). Using the mediums of photography, digital art, poetry, fashion and iTaukei traditional practices to ground her learnings and observations as Pasifika diaspora in Aotearoa. Natasha often harnesses colour and the human anatomy as tools of archiving memory, each hue and form embodying a story or cultural principle.

Amy Zhang
Amy Zhang is a Chinese-Australian movement artist that specialises in performance, movement direction and choreography. Her work spans across live performance, film, tv and digital art. Her practice is grounded in Chinese ways of knowing and storytelling through experimenting with the intersections of street style foundations and contemporary frameworks. She is currently exploring ways to build intimacy through the cross-cultural exchange of knowledge and movement.



Lead artist: Emele Ugavule
Lead artist: Natasha Ratuva
Lead artist: Amy Zhang
Composer: Jane Stark
People weaver: Linda Iriza
Choir: Tokelau Melbourne Mataliki Sports and Culture

Image Credit: Studio Kin

Image Description: A blue-green and orange background to bright blue contour lines showing the text of the project title in Gagana Tokelau, Vosa vakaviti and Cantonese.