Visual Description for "Disposable Vā"
A sculpture of light tan straws arranged in sixteen squares, trimmed in a black frame. In each square, the straws are woven together using Pasefika weaving techniques and layered upon one another in rows of three, sometimes four. Each square faces a different direction causing the straws to jut out in differing ways and sometimes overlap, resembling patches on a quilt.
Audio Description for "Disposable Vā"
Mālia Malae-Godinet is a queer disabled Sāmoan interdisciplinary artist passionate about challenging how we approach, perceive, and intake art and how we define what an artist is. Mālia is eager to generate conversation and create counter-narratives surrounding what it is to be disabled, specifically within artistic space.
Artist Statement: "This piece is a commentary on ecofascism, and the growing wave of activism focused on eliminating single-use plastics. This narrative ultimately contributes to the harm and erasure of Disable Pacific Islanders and their unique experiences. The focus on single-use plastics further marginalizes and isolates disabled people from living safe, accessible lives while simultaneously distracting from one of the most significant contributors to the global climate crisis and pollution of the Pacific Ocean and Islands—militarization. Militarization has a unique history and impact throughout Oceania, particularly its contribution to the destabilization and displacement of nations and mass disabling events impacting generations across the diaspora. Together, these produce a unique experience for Disabled Pacific Islanders, who are the first and hardest hit by the climate crisis but often aren't recognized."
Utah is home to the highest per-capita population of Pacific Islanders in the contiguous U.S. of those Pacific Islanders; it's unknown what percentage are disabled due to statistical erasure under the "Asian American & Pacific Islander" label.