I recently came across an interesting interview of Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu, Minister for the Promotion of language, culture, communication and environment of French Polynesia. He was interviewed during the 27th Council of Pacific Arts at the Festival of Pacific Arts that took place in Guam a couple of months ago. The Council consisted of government directors of culture and arts throughout the Pacific Islands. The group was quite upbeat about the potential growth of arts in the Pacific, as a form of cultural expression, way of life and source of job creation, tourism and economic growth.
Guam’s Lieutenant Governor, Ray Tenorio, who emphasized the importance of the Council’s efforts to promote the indigenous traditions of our Pacific nations. He addressed the council by stating, “It’s important work that must be continued because what you do here assists in the perpetuation of some of the most beautiful and unique ways of life the world has ever known.”
The Council discussions included: preparations for the 13th and 14th Festivals of Pacific Arts, progress in cultural development in the region, including on enhancing the cultural industries; a presentation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), and the mid-term review of the Regional Cultural Strategy: Investing in Pacific Cultures 2010-2020. The Council also discussed the potential for growth in the relatively new sector of Pacific film, alongside more established forms of cultural expression, and agreed that The Pacific Community (SPC) should continue progressing, with its member countries, the development of the film sector in the region.
As for Mr. Maamaatuaiahutapu’s interview, he was asked the question: “What are, according to you, the main challenges the Pacific cultural industries are facing, and what are the priority actions to take at the strategic level?”
Maamaatuaiahutapu was concerned about the fight against the cultural tsunami that is barreling down on the Pacific Islands through television and the Internet. He believes that preserving cultural diversity in the region is an important issue with globalization and needs to be examined at a local, regional and international level.
Check out the four minute interview by clicking here. It is in French with English subtitles.