Ema Tavola is an independent curator based in South Auckland, New Zealand. Having established her practice whilst managing Fresh Gallery Ōtara, a local government funded community art gallery, Tavola’s curatorial concerns are grounded in the opportunities of contemporary art to engage grassroots audiences, shift representational politics and archive the Pacific diaspora experience. Tavola has worked in galleries and museums throughout New Zealand and is committed to curating as a mechanism for social inclusion, centralising Pacific ways of seeing, and exhibition making as a mode of decolonisation. She has also discussed and advocated for a Pacific people centred approach to curating Pacific art at institutions and symposia in Australia, Canada, the USA and Fiji. In 2012, she was the first curator awarded the Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Award for Contemporary Art, and wrote a manifesto on Pacific curatorial practice as Artist in Residence with the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury in 2017.
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