AURA 2020

AURA Festival of Moving Images 2020 was presented by CIRCUIT in association with Pātaka Art + Museum, Porirua.

AURA 2020 presented a focussed dialogue between 5 new artist works and a 1-day academic symposium. 

  • Friday 23 October saw the screening of the 2020 CIRCUIT Artist Cinema Commissions
  • Saturday 24 October was the full symposium, Sovereign Pacific / Pacific Sovereigns.


AURA 2020 sought to explore how sovereignty is inscribed in art—on page, on screen, in space, on bodies, and in the natural world. What is sovereignty? Is it innate and universal, or something to be contested and won, in a given place and time? The word suggests an autonomy that is at once individual and collective, yet sovereignty may be more than political, and more than strictly human. Indeed, as our modernity culminates in mounting global crises, we are compelled to recalibrate all our rights and freedoms in favour of others, of animate and inanimate things, of the planet itself.


Both the screening and the symposium were curated by CIRCUIT’s international curator-at-large for 2020 David Teh, a curator and Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore, specialising in Southeast Asian contemporary art. David's previous curatorial projects include Returns, a project for the 12th Gwangju Biennale (2018), Misfits: Pages from a Loose-leaf Modernity (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2017) and Unreal Asia (55. Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, 2009). Due to the limitations imposed by Covid 19, David will participate in AURA 2020 via Zoom.

Keynote and programme speakers

The symposium keynote was Dr Carl Mika, with other speakers, including:

  • David Teh
  • Alex Monteith
  • Rachel Rakena
  • Sorawit Songsataya
  • Vera Mey
  • Andrew Clifford
  • Ana Iti
  • Lana Lopesi, and others.

A huge thanks to our partners Pātaka Art + Museum for their collaboration in presenting this project.