Performance Art: Oceania

Oceania performance art through the islands.


Oceania was colonized by British, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Americans.

The second half of the 19th century was the height of the colonisation of Oceania. The process began in 1788 when Australia became a British colony. Smaller islands followed in the1840s: the French claimed the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands and the Marquesas. Papeete, the largest settlement in Tahiti became the capital of French Polynesia. New Caledonia followed in the 1850s as a French penal colony. At first, the British were unwilling to claim larger areas of the Pacific due to the expensive administration of tiny, sporadically inhabited islands scattered across an enormous area. This changed with the opening of the Panama Canal in the 1880s, which opened up new nautical routes in the Pacific. The emergence of Germany and the USA as new colonial powers was another reason for the fast colonization of the Pacific islands in the late 18th century.

Like much of the world, these colonizations decimated local populations and cultures. The performance artists working in these areas are addressing the environmental, cultural, and personal costs of this.

Performance Art – Oceania



Solomon Islands


Papua New Guinea

Cook Islands


Support Performance Art Resources

Performance Art Resources is an artist run site. It is not supported by institutions or foundations. You can help us connect performance artists around the world!

Every little bit helps, please donate now!man resting on ground head and face painted white, a knife resting on the ground to the left of the head.