Idealog Podcast: Kasia Pol on designing A Waka Odyssey

Performance artist and designer Kasia Pol chats with Idealog about her work with A Waka Odyssey - an event like no other featuring at this year's New Zealand Festival.

Aotearoa is a nation of voyagers. The first people – the Māori – crossed oceans to find the series of islands millions of people today call home.

But that was hundreds of years ago. Isn’t it time we remembered those great voyages?

That’s part of the idea behind A Waka Odyssey, a three-part performance taking place at this year’s New Zealand Festival in Wellington beginning on February 23.

Inspired by the arrival in Aotearoa of great navigator and explorer Kupe, the event is set to feature - among other things - what may well be the largest fleet of waka hourua (traditional double-hulled sailing canoes) seen in the Land of the Long White Cloud since the arrival of the Māori.

One of the key people behind the event is Kasia Pol. A Polish-born performance artist and designer who has based herself in New Zealand over the last 10 years, she has worked with various theatre, dance and film companies to create installations and performances in New Zealand as well as Germany, Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Poland.

She recently took some time out of her busy schedule to chat about the part she is playing in A Waka Odyssey, what audiences can expect, challenges of designing such a performance, and more. Listen to the podcast below to hear what she had to say.

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