A battle with cancer is not slowing down the President of the Samoa Arts Council, Seiuli Tuilagi Allan Alo.
This Saturday, Seiuli with the assistance of key supporters is launching a new project called Samoa Performing Arts & Creative Excellence (S.P.A.C.E).
“It might be different but it’s the kind of stuff that I want and it’s something I would like to leave behind,” Seiuli told the Samoa Observer.
“The main reason for this is to develop performing arts and creativity.”
But there is personal story in there for Seiuli as well.
“It follows a philosophy by my late Professor Epeli Hauofa who was an academic at the University of the South Pacific and he was my boss at the Oceania Centre for Arts Culture and Pacific Studies,” Seiuli said.
“His philosophy was that “unless we create spaces where we can create our autonomy and creativity we can never be free,” because the spaces that we work under are spaces made by other people mainly colonialist and suppressors.
“But we create these spaces for our own freedom so that we can create and express and give freedom to other people to basically create themselves, recreate and be free in the arts.”
Seiuli said he hopes the project will attract programmes that will look at community development.
“I have spoken with Beth Onesemo on working with youth where we can develop programme with youth community based,” he said.
“We are also working with the Samoa Arts Council in creating a programme in the performing arts as well.”
“While I was in New Zealand I spoke with professors at the Auckland University to have an exchange programme where we can develop the arts.”
“So the space itself is basically about the mentality of the space and physicality of the space.”
“It might be different but it’s the kind of stuff that I want and it’s like something I would like to leave behind.”
Asked what the challenges are Seiuli said is the time.
“Like I said before this was supposed to be launched next year but due to certain circumstances we had to move it forward,” he said.
“But this is something that I have always been passionate about and also this is something that we haven’t really done in Samoa. It’s about community based programme as well as for academic.”
“We are trying to link up with the University of the South Pacific, Auckland University, School of Arts and Dance as well as the National University of Samoa.” “So there will be people from New Zealand and Fiji that will be coming to perform on the official opening and I’ll probably do a little perform on the day.”
Ask how much it cost Seiuli said $10,000.
“It was a warehouse that was given to me by my mother so I renovated the whole place and it was a little over $100, 000,” he said. “It’s about the development in the arts and creating a platform for young people and the youth to realise their true potential in terms of the arts.”
“Whether its dance or music or paint or anything.”