Wrestler Studios partnered with FAFSWAG to manifest ATUA using the otherworldly capability of augmented reality. ATUA is a digital sculpture which connects the physical, digital, and spiritual worlds through Te Kore - The Great Nothingness, the Empty Void.
Artists Tanu Gago and Jermaine Dean of FAFSWAG partnered with Wrestler Studios to reimagine our ATUA through artistic rendering of queer and nonbinary identities. ATUA attempts to restore these identities within their Pacific heritage, from which they have been erased by systems of religion and colonisation.
ATUA derives from the pan Pacific pantheon and the shared elemental, spiritual, cultural, and ethereal deities that occupy PULOTU - the underworld. These beings are considered our ancient gods and have been mythologised throughout the course of human history as pagan belief systems. Through colonisation, Christianity has played a significant role in abolishing these systems of knowledge and belief.
However, there are many families, artists, and academics who through a process of decolonisation have begun to reclaim these systems and in return our old gods. In many indigenous cultures, queer identifying people are historically documented as occupying a divine cultural space on par with many of our ancestral deity. Queer folks are recognised as having a cultural purpose and place within the broader Moana culture pre-colonial contact.
ATUA premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2022 and has featured in DocEdge Film Festival 2022.
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