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Youth reluctance focus

Avneel Chand
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

SOME youths of Fiji are still reluctant to speak on certain issues, according to artivist Moana Maniapoto.

Ms Maniapoto facilitated a two-day workshop on using music/lyrics as a medium to send a social message, which was organised by British Council's Valuing Voices Project.

She said working with 30 participants during the two days showed there was a degree of depression since participants felt their voice was not being heard.

"Music can be used to mobilise people, make people to feel they are not alone in a particular issue. Music has a lot more potential not just to express alternative voices, but to disrupt things in a very positive way. Artivism is a term I got from the indigenous people of Northern Europe. They gave me a term that I did not even know I was doing, which was to fuse art/music with activism."

She said music was one way of connecting people by reaching out and breaking political and diplomatic barriers.

"If people are encouraged to express themselves, it is really important and I think art is a good way to do that and it is also a good way to deliver a message to decision makers," Ms Maniapoto said.

"I think workshops like these are really important and that art is really important because art is a soft power in getting voice out, so it is not just music, it is visual arts."

Ms Mauniapoto is the leader of the band Moana & the Tribe.

She was inducted in the NZ Music Hall of Fame in 2016 as a musician who has made "a significant long-term contribution to New Zealand music".

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