Innocents Abroad - Touring the Pacific through a colonial lens 

King George in front of Palace. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

 

Innocents Abroad - Touring the Pacific through a colonial lens is a touring exhibition from Te Papa Tongarewa. It features photographic prints and photographic murals of images taken by Alfred Burton of Burton Brothers Studio in Dunedin during a winter cruise to the South Pacific on the SS Wairarapa in 1884.

 

The Hospital - Levuka - Fiji. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

 

The exhibition follows the Wairarapa's journey from its departure in Auckland in July 1884 through the islands of Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga. 

Extracts, giving a flavour of the time (the 'colonial lens'), are taken from Alfred Burton's diary of the trip and newspaper comments. 

 

The Fair “Sauimatani” and Bloomfield Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

 

Pacific viewpoints provide another set of voices, expressing a contemporary response to the images from leading Pacific scholars and writers from each of the island nations.

The writers are Larry Thomas, playwright and film maker, on Fiji, poet and artist Monroe von Reiche on Samoa, Dan Taulapapa McMullin on American Samoa, and for the Tongan images anthropologist Dr 'Okustino Mahina and Kolokesa Mahina.