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Puāwai Transforms Aotearoa’s Relationship to HIV

Taurima Vibes presents
November 26 – December 1
Presented in collaboration with Body Positive, Positive Women Inc. and the New Zealand AIDS Foundation

Championing authentic expression and representation of the HIV community, the PuāwaiFestival is set to kick all things stigma to the kerb, when it returns to Auckland from Monday 26 November to Saturday 1 December. This week-long activation for HIV-awareness and visibility is timed to honour World AIDS Day on December 1.

Now entering its fourth year, the festival is the brainchild of cultural provocateur and community facilitator Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho, and Mark Fisher from Body Positive. Creating open, safe and integrated spaces to reduce stigma, Puāwai raises awareness (and funds!) through the performing arts, crossing genre boundaries with diverse programming.

Tukiwaho said, “Puāwai sees a world in which people living with HIV are treated as equal citizens: respected, free of stigma and alive with dignity. The multi-faceted programme of Puāwai events has enabled skills-building, sharing, participation and steps toward structural change since we first birthed the festival in 2015. We allow people to just enjoy being human!”

2018 is a time for celebration to mark the 30-Year Anniversary of the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt Project. Ten panels of the NZ Quilt will go on display in Auckland for the Puāwai Festival, moving from their usual home in the national NZAF offices. Serving primarily as a memorial to 140 people who have died of HIV related illnesses, the quilt is regarded as a national taonga, with a further 16 panels now housed at Te Papa Tongarewa. The international AIDS quilt is the largest piece of community folk art in the world and the first New Zealand panel was created for Peter Cuthbert of Wellington in December 1988. A powerful social advocacy tool, this 'time capsule' has promoted a compassionate and educational dialogue about HIV and AIDS, allowing people from all walks of life to learn about the human side of the epidemic. Michael Bancroft, who served as custodian of the quilt for over 15 years, will be a guest at the festival launch event - Whakapapa on Monday 26 November, where the panels will be on display.

Popular signature events from last year will also return to Puāwai in 2018. Positive Women will lead a celebration of many voices for Q Theatre’s Loft for the first time, helming a series of community-building workshops during the day and an evening of performances for those who identify as female. Body Positive will host a sex-positive discussion forum focused on gay and bisexual men, allowing attendees to riff on their own narratives in an environment free from stigma or shame. Neil Thornton's annual comedy evening will be at The Classic this year, featuring current Billy T nominee James Mustapic, alongside James Malcolm, Roland Mirabueno, and Julia Clement, with Justine Smith headlining the night. And, the New Zealand AIDS Foundation’s Red Party again comes under the Puāwai umbrella with their annual event at Family Bar.

Glitter cannons will be fired when Puāwai focuses in on the evening of World AIDS Day (Saturday 1 December) for the charity cabaret fundraiser TRUE COLOURS. Tukiwaho himself will MC the event, that will feature a performance of Cyndi Lauper’s signature song that has been translated into Te Reo Māori. Lauper first recorded what is now an iconic anthem within the LGBTQI+ community in 1986, when her best friend Gregory Natal died from HIV/AIDS.

Audiences at the Auckland Town Hall will be immersed in an evening of stellar entertainment by incredible local talent, raising awareness for a community that has a whakapapa and stories that are uniquely their own. Expect charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent when an aerial performance from Jackson Cordery of The Dust Palacecollides with storytelling, comedy and song. Local heroes Amanda Grace Leo (Roots, Call of the Sparrows), Paul Fagamalo (The Guerrilla Collection, The Factory) and Brady Peeti(Larger than Life) will be joined by long-time community allies The Lady Killers to sing the night away. All proceeds will go to the NZ HIV Wellness Fund, which supports New Zealanders living with HIV.

Puāwai Festival reflects the true nature of the experience of HIV here in Aotearoa. Eradicating unnecessary boundaries and inequalities, this is a multi-faceted explosion of life.

November 26 - December 1

Presented by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation
Monday 26 November, 6pm; 1 Cascade St, Freemans Bay
This collaborative event, in association with Body Positive, Positive Women, and Taurima Vibes, plus VIP guests Michael Bancroft and Karen Ritchie (The Cartier Trust), will see the NZ AIDS Quilt on display. Looking back on the rich, multi-faceted and multi-generational 30-year history of HIV/AIDS in Aotearoa, this is a chance for discussion, education, and open conversation.
Koha donation:

Presented by Positive Women
Tuesday 27 November; Loft, Q Theatre, 305 Queen St
2pm: A workshop open to all women affected by and living with HIV designed to get imaginations to meet the realities of lived experience.
7pm: MC Natalie Samy will host a multi-disciplinary showcase which will gift audiences with
spoken word, dance and drag. Free entry, all welcome.

Presented by Body Positive
Wednesday 28 November, 7pm; The Dogs Bollix, 2 Newton Rd
A community discussion led by Body Positive Executive Director Mark Fisher. More details still to come!

Thursday 29 November, 8pm; The Classic Comedy & Bar, 321 Queen St
With MC Neil Thornton, and performances from Justine Smith, James Malcolm, James Mustapic, Roland Mirabueno, and Julia Clement
From $15; Booking through Eventfinda:

Presented by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation
Friday 30 November; Family Bar, 270 Karangahape Rd
More details still to come!

Co-presented by Taurima Vibes and Auckland Live
Saturday 1 December, 8pm; Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall
The crescendo to a full week of awareness events celebrating our authentic selves, this is an evening of stellar entertainment by incredible local talent including NZ icons The Lady Killers headlining the night!
From $15; Booking through Auckland Live:


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