B O D Y Vogue Ball 2016


Auckland City’s social cognition as a civic centre and cultural hub of Aotearoa has been sleeping on queer brown B O D I E S for some time. For years it has engineered diversity with its salt and pepper programing, seasoning its festivals with our flavour in exchange for a cute lil koha and gold coin donation / participation. But last night in Auckland Central something shifted making this lazy bitch woke to the bare naked truth – This is what agency looks like when you exercise a refusal to be kept, chucking out any expectations for someone else to top-up your glass!!



It’s easy to talk about cultural inclusion from the outside because your positions are etched in stone trapping you in a two prong argument of right and wrong that never resolves. The left maintain their reasoning for feeling excluded while the right maintain that it’s all in our heads.  The only way out of this entanglement is to disrupt the entire process and for queer people of colour that sometimes means using our bodies. The queer brown folk occupying Aucklands nether regions and social outpost (East, West and South) came through and changed this sleepy social paradigm for good.


The B O D Y Vogue Ball saw the culmination of four years of roots ground-work play out on a central stage and FAFSWAGS teething proms have all but dissipated. But let’s be real. All though the FAFSWAG ball is flexing her new leg muscles she still has to do that shit in six inch stilettos.

Birthed in Otara South Auckland FAFSWAGS original Vogue ball struggled as an event from first time insecurities and a mild identity crisis. It was her first time in DRAG at a ball. In all honesty it would have been fair to give her the chop. Her runway was messy, her vogue was stunty as fuck and “Her makeup wasn’t looking beautiful tonight”. Over all she had a long way to go as far as Vogue Balls was concerned.


The B OD Y Vogue Ball speaks to the shifting tides for a cultural movement that has since its origins in NYC, generated and inspired a globalised voice for marginal societies. Last night was true to this fashion and authenticity for a community living those lines and treading those marginal spaces. Not in theory but in real world ways. As host and custodians of that space we’re honoured to have you share your truth with us and unlike Auckland City we’re happy to have you keep shit real without bartering away your cultural capital for chump change.



Now to the love… Our foremost gratitude goes to the Vogue community that showed out and filled the space with your beautiful brown bodies. Thank you to all the new and familiar faces for gracing our ball room floor with your presence. Without you none of this shit is possible and all this social discourse and cultural sparring is redundant. Don’t ever forget that. You are the scene, you are the culture and you are the movement. Take it, love it, own it, it is yours!!_MG_6613 copy.png

Congratulations to all the grand prize winners. Thanks for providing us with benchmarks for the next event. You came, you saw, you slayed.

SOFT N CUNT – Darren / Envy Millan





Thank you to our judges FALENCIE, HUKA HORI, AMY, REUELU, ROSE.

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Thank you our performers THE JAACKERS.

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Thank you to our DJ Reina Sutton.

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Thank you to our sponsors and supporters, NIU FM, PAPERBAG PRINCESS, LOVE YOUR CONDOM, FAMILY BAR DOWN UNDER.


Last but not least can we all just give it up for this bitch, the hostess with the mostess, her cunty chantress extravaganza TAUFA FISINAUA. Thank you boo, you’re a life force to be reckoned with and your fire on the mic had the whole thing lit from beginning to end.


As a final thought we leave you with The B O D Y Vogue Ball mantra and theme.

It’s all about self-love / loving thy body / passion / self-defence / dreaming big / Minding your own fucking business / and if you follow the rules you too can get this body…


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B O D Y / Vogue Ball / CATEGORIES


B O D Y / O D Y / O D Y
It’s all about self-love / loving thy body / passion / self-defense / dreaming big / Minding your own fucking business / and if you follow the rules you too can get this body…

S O F T –N C U N T
Theme: Androgynous Punk at an All White Party
~Delicacy and softness of spin dips and hand performance ~
~ I want to see pussy ~ I want to see cunt!~
~Unisex category ~


R U N W A Y ( F A N T A S E A )
Theme: Black Magic Witch
“You go back there and you bring me their heads, Fiona , her daughter and every witch bitch in that house”- Angela Bassett
~10’s on Creativity and Imagination~ 10’s on Garment ~
~ 10’s on Walk, Attitude and Energy~
~Unisex Category~


F E M A L E / F I G U R E / P E R F O R M A N C E
Theme: Carrie Fever
“Oh, honey. Goddesses don’t speak in whispers. They scream.” – The Countess / Lady Gaga
~ REALNESS – 10’S for performance dips, hands, spins ~
~ 10’s Garment/costume ~
~T-GIRLS only~


D R A G / P E R F O R M A N C E
Theme: Cooperate Cannibal
“Look at ha makeup It looks terrible”– Crystal Labeija
~ 10’s From the lipsyncs to the look ~ Selling the performance ~ sell us the fantasy
~unisex category~ drag queens ~
~ drag kings ~ bio queens~


Theme: Banjee Cunt with a million insta followers
“I got n*ggas that’s dressin like bitches, I got bitches that’s dressin like n*ggas every gender do not make a difference they react the same when you come for their riches switch it!” – Jay Boogie
~unisex category~







Includes drink on arrival, Canapes to die for & Cash Bar $125.00
NZ Room – EARLYBIRD – Group of 10
Get $115 tickets when purchasing in a group of 10

We get asked all the time what exclusion looks like and for all intensive purposes this still remains one of the most pointless fucking questions. Because despite telling the happy little residents of the RAINBOW space what exclusion looks like we still don’t get to sit at the same table as everyone else.


Just know that everyone that matters will be at this year’s RAINBOW GALA celebrating the 30 year anniversary of Homosexual Law-reform. A milestone I might add that our current and previous governments, for the span of 30 years have done very little about advocating for among the 9 neighbouring Pacific Countries that still enforce punitive laws criminalising homosexuality, countries you, our core audience probably come from.

Just know that the people that matter will be there, like the community leaders, politicians, celebrities and cardboard personalities, the rainbow bankers, the tired social workers and health advocates and all the shiny old DRAG QUEENS, and probably even all their allies that love a good old faghag extravaganza .

But you know who won’t be there is BROKE asses like you and me and us. The prevailing sentiment and one that we are used too at the arse end of the rainbow, is knowing that you don’t matter, not in these circles and systems and deffs not at these parties. For all the access and inclusion drama, this is still nothing fucking new!!





On Friday the 13th of May, FAFSWAG Arts Collective was invited to OLGA – an artist studio space belonging to Pacific curator Leafa Wilson (writer, artist, activist and Pacific curator at Hamilton Museum).

As a collective we haven’t really considered what the ‘movement’ looks like outside of Auckland and so the opportunity to transplant some of our kaupapa, discourses and swag to another region of New Zealand is something that really excited the team. We’re always reflecting on cultural transmission through our various practices and to relocate our practices and narratives from south Auckland to engage with new communities was really interesting. We found ourselves asking each other who is gonna turn out to see this? So of course it was a huge surprise to see a full house.


FAFSWAG’s resident Photographer and performance artist Pati Solomona Tyrell is originally from the Waikato and grew up in Hamilton. Activating the space had a significant importance and meaning for him. For starters at least 90% of his immediate family still reside there and a vast majority of his friends still work and study in the region. It was especially meaningful to be able to bring his family and friends into the activation entitled ‘Aitu’ and ‘Fa’aafa’ (along with Tongan artist Sione Monu and Manu Vaea) and to reflect the depth of his practice by presenting a glimpse of what he’s been up to in his absence and during the subsequent time he’s spent living in Auckland and studying at The Faculty of Creative Arts M.I.T

Pati also presented as part of the showcase a series of new works entitled ‘Aitu 2016 portrait series’ which can be viewed in their full glory below. The Images were created over a weekend of collective FAFSWAG art making. Something we do regularly this time after Easter weekend. The Promo image of the collective was taken only minutes before hand by myself and features the people we collaborate with and have consistently worked with over the past 4 years. Not really a squad but an actual creative family of Poly Rainbow identities and supporters.

family portrait

Also in the house were some locals that include Waikato Queer Youth (WaQuY), Te Wananga O Aotearoa, Hamilton PRIDE committee and The Savage Club. We’re extremely grateful for all the love and support and thankful to everyone that showed up to be part of the evening. We hope that everyone was able to engage with the art and connect with the various artist from the collective.

Shout out to the Hamilton artist we shared space with in the show. Thank you to WITCH BITCH, Nahora Ioane and Moe Laga for your confronting and brave performances / activation’s. I know the performances elevated the night and left people with a great reflection of ways to express yourself on your own terms. To all the local artist we had the chance to meet, break bread and spend time with, thank you for your involvement and thank you for your talent. Thank you to Amelia Takataka for the extra studio space and Aotea Tyrell for your awesome pot of chopsuey!!!! it was the bomb!!!

Last but not least THANK YOU AUNTY OLGA for hosting the FAFSWAG arts collective. This was a great opportunity and one that afforded people the chance to build relationships, showcase diversity and connect over art and poly style creativity. We hope to be able to do some more creative swapping in the future. Thank you for your hospitality and thank you HAMILTON for the fun filled weekend.

To any of our followers based in the region please be sure to check out the work in the space. FA’AFETAI xx FAFSWAG!!!

MANUAitu ManuMOE Aitu MoeTANUAitu TanuSIONEAitu SioneNANAAitu NanaPATIAitu PatiJERMAINEAitu MahiaFALENCIEAitu FalencieAitu 2016 -Pati Solomona Tyrell

10 x 10 Fresh Gallery Ōtara 10th Birthday



10 x 10 Fresh Gallery Ōtara 10th Birthday
Opening Thursday May 5, 6pm

6 May – 11 June

Elisabeth Alani, Emory Douglas, Tanya Edwards, Tanu Gago, Sean Kerrigan Janet Lilo, Nicole Lim, Vea Mafile’o, Emily Mafile’o, Cerisse Palalagi Francis Pesamino, Siliga David Setoga, Visesio Siasau, Gary Silipa, Coco Solid, Keg de Souza, Louise Stevenson, Daniel Tautua, Angela Tiatia, Allen Vili

Pimp My T-shirt with Sammy Atasani
Saturdays May 7 – 4 June, 10am – 12pm
Celebration Day
Saturday 28 May, 8am – 2pm
FRESH SHOP, art market, workshops and performances
‘In Conversation’ Leilani Kake, the early years of Fresh Gallery Ōtara, 1pm


Image: Janet Lilo, Chandelier (digital image), 2016




FAFSWAG presents JERMAINE, a character portrait of one of the artist from the FAFSWAG arts collective. We wanted to reinvigorate some renewed energy into Auckland’s underground VOGUE scene. The dancer in this video Jermaine Dean Aka Chaos is of Maori heritage and is a member of the roots Vogue scene in NZ, also working in the space as a photographer and visual artist. We wanted to apply a documentary style to capture this performance and contrast these moments against different South Auckland locations like Otara. A community known for its cutting edge contributions to the country’s art landscape. This is part of an ongoing series we will be doing throughout the year profiling and documenting Pacific LGBTQI narratives for future generations. We hope you enjoy.