This Springboard Award is gifted by Philip Carter
Jahra Wasasala and Ooshcon, under the collaborative world-bending entity of CONJAH, are a creative force within and beyond the mediums of dance, physical theatre, poetry and visual craft. Together, CONJAH brings forth the depths of their extensive solo body work, their whakapapa and their imaginations to build into each other’s visions, enabling them to do the same with the collaborators and artists they work with.
Within their developments and performances, CONJAH focus on connection, world-building, excavation: Connection; strengthening intimate connections between the collaborating artists. World-building; building characters, stories and worlds into performance spaces. Excavation; creating body states and stories that shed realities as skins to reveal our own truths.
Jahra Wasasala (jahra.xyz) Fijian and Pakeha and was born and raised in West Tāmaki Makaurau. Ooshcon (ooshcon.live) Samoan and Pakeha and was born and raised in Te Awa Kairangi ki Uta.
CONJAH will be mentored by 2014 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Lisa Reihana MNZM
Since the 1990s, Lisa Reihana has emerged as one of the leading artists in Aotearoa New Zealand. Working across a range of media – including film, sculpture, costume and body adornment, and photography – her art offers a dramatic and dynamic commentary on Māori history and identity. Reihana translates traditional indigenous concepts and narratives from an urban Māori perspective, examining issues of colonialism, gender, language and place.
Statement from selection panel:
“CONJAH represents this fiercely unique, 21st century Moana Oceania energy that has been cultivated on the edge of the Pacific ocean in Aotearoa. They are channelling these forces, this epic ancestral magic, that can only be expressed in pure movement and body language. CONJAH deserves investment and support to ensure their craft can keep evolving, serving and manifesting.”