Public diplomacy

11th Festival of Pacific Arts, Solomon Islands

The 11th Festival of Pacific Arts  was held in the Solomon Islands on 1 to 14 July 2012. This year's theme was 'Culture in Harmony with Nature'. More than 20 Pacific countries and territories, and close to 2,000 participants, attended the festival.

The Australian delegation led by the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, includes 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and members of the Queensland Theatre Company. The Australian artists represent an extensive range of Indigenous art forms and cultural practices, from dance and visual arts in the Torres Strait, desert reggae in Papunya, fabric design in the Tiwi to glassworks and poetry from Canberra.

Among the artists are:

Held every four years since 1972, the Festival of Pacific Arts is the Pacific's largest regional cultural gathering. The festival is a unique opportunity for the Pacific community to come together to share, revitalise and maintain their traditional arts and culture and reflect on the impact and issues of climate change, technology and globalisation of culture. Australia hosted the festival in 1988 in Townsville.

Poster for the Festival of the Pacific Arts.
Mr Marles with Prime Minister Lilo and other guests watching Australia's Chooky Dancers perform at the Australian High Commissioner's official welcome for the Australian delegation to the Festival of Pacific Arts.
Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, with Prime Minister Lilo and other guests watching Australia's Chooky Dancers perform at the Australian High Commissioner's official welcome for the Australian delegation to the Festival of Pacific Arts.