Not quite paradise: Management fallout at the VIII Festival of Pacific Arts

Pamela Zeplin


The paper seeks to examine, within a broader historical context, administrative aspects of the 2000 VIIIth Festival of Pacific Arts in New Caledonia. This quadrennial Festival of indigenous arts is crucial as a major international opportunity to express Pacific solidarity and to celebrate the region's diverse and dynamic cultural identities. However, its most recent (and more affluent) manifestation departed from the usual Pasefika way of doing things, influenced by its location in a former French colony-cum-tourist resort. Drawing upon the experiential perspective of a western cultural tourist and arts critic, the paper charts some examples of unnecessarily obstructive bureaucracy and their effects upon participants and audiences. Notwithstanding organisational adversity - and at some cost - the artists eventually triumphed over what may be considered a parallel and sometimes entertaining universe of 'theatrical' debacles. The Festival will once more take place in 2004 but the administration saga continues.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management; ISSN 1449-1184
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