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Vā: The Space Between Us

“Vā is the space between, the betweenness, not empty space, not space that separates but space that relates, that holds separate entities and things together in the Unity-that-is-All.” —Albert Tuaopepe Wendt

For the diaspora and those displaced from our homelands, ancestors, and potential future selves, “space” can be a site of pain. But what if we re-envisioned “the space between us” as a space of Vā, a cultural concept arising out of Samoa and Tonga? A space of love, calls to identity, community, and hope? These short films chronicle connection—in doing so they invite us to care for one another across time and space.

Program curated by Sunny Huang

LIVE Q&A on 11/13 at 5:00 P.M. EST

In this program


Directed by Mia Kami

A music video for the people of Pasifika by Pasifika people

Distant Learning

Directed by Sergio M. Rapu and Elena GK Rapu

In the face of a global travel shutdown, a Rapanui father living in Minnesota tries to maintain ties to his culture by teaching it to his children.

The Vahine

Directed by Camille Mỹ Giang

A surprising and unconventional, danced sign language brings together a deaf boy and a Tahitian dancer through an unexpected encounter.

Mawhialeo Ote Alowha / Our Love

Directed by Valeriya Golovina

Meli and her husband Avito reflect on the pivotal decision of their lives—when they left the tiny atoll of Tokelau for New Zealand seeking a better life for their son. 43 years on, they find themselves pulled between family and a longing for home.

Hawaiian Soul

Directed by ʻĀina Paikai

I can recall the way your voice would fill the room, and we would all be stilled by your melody.