Then, Now; Now, Then: Relocating Tokelau

By Jacqueline McIntosh, Philippe Campays and Adele Leah.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 26, 2016 $US5.00

More than half of the Tokelau population has relocated to New Zealand, raising issues for cultural maintenance. The exhibition—a collaboration between the local community, museum, and university architecture students—took place in the community gallery of a suburban museum Pataka Art + Museum. The aim of the exhibition was not only to provide a space where Tokelauan people could think, talk, and reminisce about their culture, but also to provide input and ideas for a Tokelauan cultural centre that is being designed by students from the School of Architecture in collaboration with the Tokelauan community. The paper explores ways that museums can work with multiple groups and institutions to fulfill allied (but not necessarily the exact same) aims, and how exhibitions can be used as a method of research and engaging with a particular audience in an inclusive and emotive way. Community empowerment extended from arts and craft demonstrations to anti-violence campaigning, new parent campaigns, displays of children’s books in the Tokelau language, youth talent competitions, and elders’ game competitions. The inclusive exhibition was successful in attracting a large number of new visitors to the museum and eliciting an important set of new relationships that continued on after the exhibition had ended.

Keywords: Community Empowerment, Museum Exhibition, Grassroots, Tokelau, Inclusive Museum, Participatory Design, Cultural Heritage, Climate Change

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp.63-77. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 26, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.164MB)).

Jacqueline McIntosh

Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Philippe Campays

Lecturer, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Adele Leah

Teaching Fellow, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington


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