This short documentary features the Seleka International Art Society Initiative (SIASI). Seleka is a group of mostly urban youth in the Kingdom of Tonga's capital of Nuku'alofa who gather often, as many Tongans do, in order to ingest the land by drinking kava.
They have a twist to their gatherings however with the addition of paint and a broad range of global popular music, including the less commonly heard sounds in a kava session of metal, punk, and more.
Their adaptations and reflection of their contemporary identities hasn't gone without scrutiny or controversy, but despite those challenges they remain a safe and creative space for young men and women to explore and confront the taboo's of their society and culture.
This footage was being saved to be part of a larger kava documentary project based in my doctoral studies, which is still another year or so away from being completed.
Due to the recent devastation of Cyclone Gita last month, Seleka's fale (Tongan house) was destroyed and they have nowhere to gather. Considering the immediate needs for the group, this footage is being released now in hopes to support overseas fundraising efforts and local support to rebuild a meeting place for the Selekarian's.
Mālō 'Aupito to Seleka, supporters, and to 'Inoke Hafoka for crucial feedback in the editing process of this film.
Fundraising link: https://www.youcaring.com/selekasiasitonga-1135454