Port of Refuge is a haerenga permeated with stories of arrivals and departures in the Kingdom of Tonga. I search the islands of Tongatapu and Vava’u for the bones and traces of my ancestors who were caught between two worlds.

Still from Port of Refuge. December 2019 – July 2020. HD video, 11m.

Port of Refuge is chapter four of Moana Calling Me Home, a series of moving-image works from a Master of Visual Arts. This transformational research project is a haerenga — a journey — of reconnection with whakapapa, with ancestral relationships, and with Te Moananui a Kiwa: the ocean and her islands from which these relationships emerged.