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.
A graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, she has worked with various artists and organisations across Australia and the Pacific including Warner Music, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Sydney Opera House, Netflix ANZ & Mad Ones Films, Culture Factory, Playwriting Australia, Mangere Arts Centre, Monkey Baa Theatre Co, La Boite Theatre Co, Belvoir St, Sydney Theatre Co, Arts Centre Melbourne, Art Gallery of NSW, Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture & Pacific Studies.
In her commitment to community-led creativity, Emele has produced storytelling programs for Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Community Arts Network x Lotterywest, Black Birds, Q Theatre (Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre) mentored and contributed to Soul Alphabet projects. She is an active member of the Tokelauan and Fijian communities across Whadjuk, Bindjareb and Wardandi Noongar Country, and the secretary of Kaiga Tokelau i Perth WA. Alongside her collective focused practice, Emele has also worked with musicians such as Ngaiire, Thelma Plum and Solange Knowles.
Emele is a sessional academic at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (Acting and Bachelor of Performing Arts), the host of the Unravel & Solwata Kin podcasts, Lead Editor of Talanoa and the founder and director of Studio Kiin.
In 2022, Emele produced the ‘Shift in Worldview’ festival between the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
She is a recipient of the Critical Path Digital Research Residency 2021-22, Australia Council & Creative NZ 2022 Digital Fellowship, and the 2020 Playwriting Australia Ignition inititative.
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.
Living on a farm in the Wairarapa that embraces indigenous farming practices and regenerative agriculture has largely expanded her creative processes through greater intimacy with the natural world. Growing food, raising animals, building soil health has recently inspired her creative outputs.
Natasha also works in the fashion industry as an e-commerce and social media strategist, creative director, stylist and photographer. She has collaborated with NZ fashion magazines, NZ fashion labels, musicians, short films and music video projects including VIVA, Layplan, Sweepstake Winners, Harris Tapper & Campbell Luke.
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.
Amy has created and performed in works with various artists and organisations across Australia including Performance Space, AGNSW, The Hayes Theatre, Brisbane Festival, First Draft, Belvoir St Theatre, Supercell Festival, Vitalstatistix, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Critical Path and Diversity Arts. Amy was also an artist in residence at the City of Sydney Live/Work residency in 2019-2020. She was also an artist in residence at the City of Sydney Live/Work residency in 2019-2020.
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.
In recent years, she has also grown an interest in honouring her ancestors by digging deeper into Rwandan historical archives. In 2020, she launched a project called Amateka Series which aims at curating experiences that nurture a culture of collective learning. The project has held virtual history live conferences and workshops that bring together Rwandans across the world and in the past they’ve had up to 190 attendees streaming from so called Australia, Aotearoa, Rwanda, South Africa, UK, Canada and more.
Her passion for creating spaces for young Africans goes beyond borders; as she founded Nuru Tours which is an ethical travel project that works to connect the African diaspora to Africa. She has worked with Fremantle Arts Centre, Community Arts Network, West Australian Music,Talanoa, Perth Festival and the Ministry of youth and culture in Rwanda. Iriza is interested in learning more about the art of storytelling, Indigenous approaches to anti-colonial resistance, afropresentism and intersectional feminist work.