Christopher Ulutupu presents The Pleasures of Unbelonging

Christopher Ulutupu presents new short film, The Pleasures of Unbelonging, at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival.
“I was told before arriving that I would probably be a ‘sight’ for the village,” James Baldwin wrote of Leukerbad, Switzerland, where he was to stay over the summer of 1951. Being a ‘sight’ meant being the object of endless stares and importunate touches, meant existing, as Baldwin put it in his famous essay ‘Stranger in the Village’, as not human but “simply a living wonder.”
Arriving at Mount Lyford Alpine Resort in Upper Canterbury to shoot Leila (2018), moving-image artist Christopher Ulutupu was reminded of the scenes in Baldwin’s text. “Everyone turned around and stared at us,” Ulutupu says of the moment he and the film’s predominantly Sāmoan cast and crew walked into the resort’s lodge, and into the ‘territory’ of its middle-to-upper- class Caucasian patrons—to whom they were a ‘sight’, and by whom they were made to feel like strangers in the mountains, much as Baldwin had been in Leukerbad.
This experience was the inspiration for Ulutupu’s new film work, which premiered at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival (BFMAF) on 4 March this year. The Pleasures of Unbelonging (2023) unfolds through a series of tableaux filmed in Hanmer Springs, imagining moments of arrival in new places and gently interrogating Baldwin’s notion of “people being trapped in history, and history trapped in them.”
Ulutupu is the inaugural recipient of Circuit’s Tagata Moana Moving Image Award, which enabled the commission of this new work with support from Tautai, BFMAF and Creative New Zealand. Circuit and Tautai will partner to present The Pleasures of Unbelonging in Tāmaki Makaurau late this year.

More News

Recent News

A mural, commissioned for the Wairoa Centennial Library in 1962 and painted by E. Mervyn Taylor, is set to be auctioned this week, but it is unlikely that proceeds will go to the flood-ravaged community. Dr Bronwyn Holloway-Smith reports.
The twelve-week festival of free-to-view public art will run from 25 November 2023 to 17 February 2024.
The one-night screening will include seven short works from the 1980s by the pioneering queer filmmaker.
After two-years of development, Toi MAHARA looks ahead to its new programme in Waikanae’s growing cultural precinct.
The exhibition will bring together works from some of Aotearoa's leading female modernists.
Now in its 27th year, NZ Sculpture OnShore features more than 120 artworks by emerging and established artists from all over Aotearoa New Zealand.


OF THE TIME will run from 19-29 October at Carriageworks in Sydney, featuring new work by Rosanna Raymond, Brooke Stamp and Latai Taumoepeau.
This year's festival convenes around the idea of 'The Real Thing' and will feature work by Yvonne Todd and Telly Tuita.
For its thirty-second iteration, Primavera is back with work from six of Australia's most promising young artists.
The young choreographer explores collective memory and inherited violence in this performance made in collaboration with his family.
Toro Atua takes inspiration from the rock paintings of Te Waipounamu and is scheduled for completion in April 2024.