HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - LEKI JACKSON BOURKE
LEKI JACKSON BOURKE
Playwright, Writer, Actor, Inaugral emerging Pasifka writer in Residence
Niuean, Samoan, Tongan
What makes you get out of bed every morning?
Ideas, ideas and more ideas. The creative mind never sleeps - I go to sleep with ideas, I dream of ideas and I wake up full of ideas. My mind is always busy devising ways to create magic through the arts. Living my best life while I can.
What makes you most Pasifika proud?
It makes me proud knowing that we descend from greatness and seeing our ancestors thrive and live through us and our cultural heritage art forms. Our ancestors were visionary, forward-thinking and innovative. They left us gifts that outlived them and it's evident today through the Ta'ovalas we tie, the tapa & mats we sit on, the kahoa's we wear around our necks, the kava we drink, the words and songs we sing, the patterns of our tatau we proudly display today. It's all around us - our culture survives through art!
Tell us about your year and the things your doing?
Through TAUTAI Contemporary Pasifika Arts I served a 10 week placement at Q Theatre & Auckland Theatre Company. I went in with the intention to upskill in arts administration, management and producing. It's been a really beneficial year for me as an artist and I can't wait to take everything I've learnt back into my community. This year has been about identifying my weaknesses, re-evaluating why I do what I do, and making sure that I pay it forward so that others can have the opportunity to rise. There's no point climbing the ladder if you have no friends at the top. I want my entire generation to rise and take ownership of our stories and our experiences. We have to tell our stories before others do it for us.
Is the arts scene very inspiring for young PIs at the moment?
With the amount of work being produced, it's an exciting time to be involved in the arts as a young Pasifika person living in Auckland. Our population is growing rapidly and so is our art. I'm excited to see and hear new explorations and themes emerge from my generation. The migration has already happened, we're here now, what happens next? It's so exciting and there's more and more of us coming into the arts.
What are you working on at the moment and what do u like about it?
I'm currently working with ASB Waterfront & Black Grace on "THE GUERRILLA COLLECTION" (Free Festival of Contemporary Pasifika Arts happening next weekend at ASB Waterfront). After Guerrilla, I'll be working with some of my best mates through our collective, SAU E SIVA, to deliver a community Dance Theatre Production called "ROSALINA" at the Mangere Arts Centre. To end my year, I'll be taking the theatre show "MEET THE FAKAS" up to Niue for a short Christmas season. I love the fact that all these projects have young people involved and that they all serve a purpose in the community.