Inside NZ's underground vogue scene

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Publish Date
Monday, 8 May 2017, 12:21PM

A new Vice documentary series is exploring Auckland's underground Vogue scene with a feature on New Zealand LGBTQ Pacific Arts Collective FAFSWAG.

Zealandia is a New Zealand online documentary series from Vice that is described as looking "beyond the stereotypical pillars of the New Zealand identity to present an honest view of the country."

The first episode, FAFSWAG: Auckland's Underground Vogue Scene, depicts the cultural and political significance of FAFSWAG's performative style, inspired by the 1980 Harlem Vogue Scene.

South Auckland's FAFSWAG is largely made up of queer artists from a Pacific Island background.

Their mashup of art, dance and performance offers a way for young LGBTQ Māori and Pasifika youth to reconnect with identity and community.

"Growing up queer and trans in Auckland, it's not really the norm cause there's a lot of cultural and church values that people try to impose on us," says one performer.

"We know so many people who want to get involved in the scene, but they don't live loud like us. Us doing it, and breaking all of those stereotypes and stigmas and barriers, encourages young people to start flourishing in their authentic selves," says another.

Zealandia is an ongoing digital series available on Vice. Watch the full first episode here.