To Island

To Island


‘To Island’ turns on its head power and perspective, placing at the centre the islands as the global leaders of how to live in harmony with the environment and each other. At the heart of the poem, the importance of a reciprocal relationship of respect of our environment, nature and each other, as a way of life. The voice of academic and performer Katerina Teaiwa brings another rich texture and layer of meaning to the poem of resilience and enduring love.

Poetry written by
Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa

Poetry performed by
Katerina Teaiwa

Visual Art by
Cora-Allan Lafaiki Twiss

Animation by
Moretekorohunga Lloyd

Music and Sound Design by
Laughton Kora

Taonga Pūoro by
Horomona Horo

Full credits at the end of the video

Artist Bio

Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa

Poet and scholar Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa was born in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, to an I-Kiribati and Banaban father and African American mother, and was raised in Fiji. She was the author of the poetry collection, Searching for Nei Nim’anoa (1995) and co-author of Last Virgin in Paradise: A One-Act Play (1993, with Vilsoni Hereniko). Her creative work was also published in Terenesia: Amplified Poetry and Songs by Teresia Teaiwa and Sia Figiel (2000) and I can see Fiji: poetry and sound by Teresia Teaiwa (2008, featuring Des Mallon and produced by Hinemoana Baker).  

Teaiwa is internationally known for her ground-breaking scholarship, teaching and mentoring in Pacific Studies. She earned a BA from Trinity College in Washington, DC, an MA in History from the University of Hawai‘i, and a PhD in History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She taught history and politics at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, before moving to New Zealand to found Pacific studies at Victoria University, Wellington. 

Teresia died in March 2017. It was a loss that reverberated throughout the Pacific community in the region and around the world. Sweat and Salt Water: selected works by Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa (2021) is a collection of some of her most influential writing.

Cora-Allan Lafaiki Twiss

Cora-Allan Lafaiki Twiss is a multidisciplinary artist of Māori and Niue descent, originally from Waitakere. In recent years her practice has focused on her efforts to revive the art form of Hiapo, prior to this she completed her Masters in Visual Art and Design in Performance from AUT (2013), also receiving a AUT Postgraduate Deans award for her research. 

She has exhibited her work throughout Aotearoa and internationally including Australia, Niue, England and Canada. Her work is a part of major collections including The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Wallace Arts Trust. Cora-Allan was recently awarded a McCahon House Residency (2021) the Creative New Zealand Pacific Heritage Artist award (2020) and received Annual Arts Grant funding to focus full time on her Hiapo practice in 2021. She works from her home studio in Swanson, West Auckland, is a founding member of BC COLLECTIVE and is a maker of Hiapo (Niuean Barkcloth).


Moretekorohunga Lloyd

More (Te Whakatōhea, Te Aupōuri) graduated from Massey University in 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Media Productions.  He specialises in 2D Animation and Illustration.  He’s already put these skills to great use for a number of artistic and client based projects as part of the core team at Storybox.  More grew up in Napier, Hawkes Bay speaking te reo as his first language at Te Kura Kaupapa o Te Ara Hou and brings a wealth of knowledge from his Māori heritage to all his projects.