Jahra Rager challenges perspectives through creative performance

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Solo creative performance artist Jahra Rager Wasasala is making waves locally and internationally with performances in Australia, Canada, Berlin, Hawai'i and New York. Her new solo show "a world, with your wound in it" closes the TEMPO Dance Festival at Q Theatre in Auckland this weekend.

Jahra Rager Wasasala is performing her latest creative piece, 'a world, with your wound in it'.

“I wanted to present the woman as a world but also put accountability on the audience as it having a wound in it and it needing healing and it needing attention and acknowledgement and service and justice.”

Her life and work are grounded in her beliefs.

“Women walk as worlds all the time and I'm very intrinsically connected to the belief that the earth is connected to the indigenous female from all over the planet.”

Of mixed Fijian and NZ European descent, Jahra incorporates contemporary movement and poetry to explore the experience of women and those being marginalised in their country of birth.

“I think I speak to the conflict in either mixed-race young people or in those who are not on their native land and who don't have the traditions and ceremonies and language to be able to feel like they belong to it.”

She says she feels herself when she is activated and in performance.

“I can feel every life I've lived and I can feel everything that's about to come and I feel totally peaceful and happy about that and I know that the ancient thing in me wakes up when I activate and when I perform.”

With the final performance tonight at Q Theatre, Jahra hopes to take it on to international audiences next year.