12 Jun 2017

Multi-lingual plays published in new book

12:45 pm on 12 June 2017

A new book documenting four contemporary Pacific plays using a combination of English, Samoan, Niuean and Tongan has just been published.

"Talanoa: Four Pacific Plays" is the latest work from New Zealand-based Little Island Press.

The plays explore different aspects of Pacific people navigating New Zealand society as well as life back in the islands.

Little Island Press book launch with Amanaki Prescott-Faletau

Little Island Press book launch with Amanaki Prescott-Faletau Photo: RNZ Pacific

Olivia Taouma of Little Island Press also worked as a Pacific programmer for Auckland Council.

She said she helped co-ordinate a series of workshops at libraries to help Pacific writers publish and access a wider audience.

"One of the strongest points that came through, which was the seed for this, was that people wanted more arts and books in our Pacific languages," Ms Taouma said.

"People were seeing a lot of our youth becoming disconnected with the cultures and the Pacific languages, and so they were saying where are our stories and our plays and our music and songs and books in our Pacific languages for our young people and for our older people as well."

She said the four plays tell powerful stories that incorporate island languages in a beautiful way, have comic elements and connect back to people's island roots.