12th FOPA festival 100 days away

AS Guam launches its 100 days countdown towards the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA), Solomon Islands is again preparing itself to showcase its cultural richness and diversity when it attends the festival in May this year.

February 12 (today) marks 100 days until the world gathers in Guam to witness the Pacific Island region’s diverse and spectacular cultural heritage on show at the Festival.

Also known as FestPac2016, the 12th edition of the quadrennial festival – taking place in the capital, Hagatña, from 22 May to 4 June – is world renowned for its feast of Pacific cultural and contemporary practises, including demonstrations from artisans who are keeping ancient carving, weaving, tattooing and dancing traditions alive.

A Government-appointed National Preparations Taskforce Chaired by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Moses Tepai, was set up early this month to oversee preparations towards the event.

The Taskforce has held its first introductory meeting on February 3 to set up a work program to prepare the Solomon Islands contingent.

Solomon Islands is hoping to send a 150 member delegation to the festival comprising of artists and cultural practitioners to take part in the areas of performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, traditional/ contemporary arts and workshops/ symposiums. The contingent list has been finalized and the Task Force is currently working on logistics, visa requirements and uniforms for the delegation to the festival.

The theme for the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts is “What we own, What we have, What we share, United voices of the Pacific”.

The unique festival was conceived to preserve and promote traditional and contemporary cultural practices and expressive arts in the Pacific Islands.

It was initiated by the Pacific Community with the first edition held in 1972 in Fiji.

Honiara has successfully hosted the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in 2012 and was dubbed one of the best so far.

Among the events coinciding with the festival in Guam will be the third Pacific Ministers of Culture meeting, to be facilitated by Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

Source: GCU Press.