Edith Amituanai: Double Take
Published 2019 by Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington
280mm x 220mm, softcover, colour illustrations
Edited by Christina Barton
This publication, and the exhibition it accompanied, was the first to survey Edith Amituanai’s photographic practice. In images spanning 2003 to the present, Amituanai shared her experiences of life as a first-generation New Zealand-born Sāmoan, presenting portraits of people and places from her home in Ranui, West Auckland to her homeland of Sāmoa, to the scattered sites of Pacific diaspora from Christchurch, New Zealand to Montpellier, France, and Anchorage, Alaska. These prove her empathy and engagement, confounding photography’s reputation as an organ of control and objectification. In this volume, Haruhiko Sameshima calls Amituanai a ‘village photographer’. This term aptly captures her commitment to record events and occasions as an embedded chronicler working for her community; it also encompasses the notion that her’s is a global village connected by her lens and through her ready embrace of social media. The images brought together speak to the multiple realities that exist both here and across the world that expand our presumptions about who ‘we’ in Aotearoa are and what constitutes ‘home’.