'E Kū mālo`elo`e (To Stand Firm)' - A new Forecast film by Ahilapalapa Rands
“Where I’m from, we walk backwards into the future. Everything known, everything that has happened so far is what we face. Behind us is the unknown. Where we are going.”
It is a hypnotic narrative short which disrupts ‘Western’ notions of time, delineation and certainty. It re-focuses the lens to a indigenous perspective, and asks the viewer to confront the ongoing violence inflicted by the colonial project. The facts it recounts are harrowing and urgent.
The film speaks to the Hawaiian Proverb ʻōlelo noʻeau’: ‘I ka wā ma mua, ka wā ma hope’ which translates as ‘ The past is never dead. It’s not even past’. It seeks to disrupt binary notions of ‘past’ versus ‘present’.
In understanding this, the viewer confronts the ways that colonialism is not at all in fact ‘past’, but terribly present; inflicting cultural, political, social and above all ecological violence the world over.
“Our Sea is rising. Pacific People are at the forefront of our climate crisis. Those who have done the least to create this disaster are feeling it the most keenly. Displacement from homelands that now sit only 5 meters above sea level can start to feel imminent. And yet we are not drowning, we are fighting. We want our lands back, we want climate justice, we want room and space to heal and regenerate. This requires an end to the colonial project. If you are in a position of power right now this changing present may feel like oppression but know it is as much your liberation as ours. We want a world where many worlds are possible.”
The video includes an installation filmed with a custom kīkī curtain, and selected found footage from various sources.
Ahilapalapa Rands (Hawaiian, Fijian, Sāmoan, Cook Island, Pākehā) is an artist from Aotearoa (New Zealand). Her multidisciplinary style focuses on disrupting commonplace narratives and worldviews and is informed by issues relevant to Indigeneity and by how settler colonisation continues to influence power dynamics across the world.
This new performance work was commissioned by Invisible Dust for Forecast with the support of Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust and was presented online here for the first time in early March 2021.
Please note: we recommend that you view this performance on full screen and in a quiet space with headphones on if you can.