‘Sissy that walk’: Reframing queer Pacific bodies through the FAFSWAG Ball | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2055-5695
  • E-ISSN: 2055-5709


This article explores the Auckland-based arts collective FAFSWAG. This group of queer Pasifika artists and dancers has taken up the activism and aesthetics of US ball culture, creating their own underground vogue scene. Facing exclusion and marginalization sometimes from both the mainstream queer community and their own Pasifika communities, FAFSWAG craft a creative response that celebrates and asserts safe spaces for queer ‘brown’ bodies and revisits distinctive Pasifika gender concepts. Their discourse, dance, and events offer responses to lived exigencies of colonization, diaspora, homophobia and racism. Voguing offers masculine and feminine movements for these queer bodies, challenging masculinities imposed by ‘tradition’, pop culture and colonial narratives. The transplanting and uptake of New York ball culture has given FAFSWAG in New Zealand a platform and inspiration to create art and movement that reflects their multiple identities, genders, histories and influences.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): ball culture; gender; New Zealand; Pacific peoples; queer studies; voguing
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