Tropic Editions
The Healer’s Wound: A Queer Theirstory of Polynesia
Dan Taulapapa McMullin
2022



Softcover
106 pages
9 x 12 inches
Edition of 300

ISBN 978-1-7376872-1-4 

Co-published by Tropic Editions and Puʻuhonua Society, and curated by Drew Kahuʻāina Broderick and Josh Tengan for the 2022 Hawaiʻi Triennial (HT22).


The Healer's Wound: A Queer Theirstory of Polynesia is an artist's book, a poet's collage, based on more than several years of archival research by Sāmoan fa'afafine artist and poet Dan Taulapapa McMullin. The wound in the title refers to the conflict between colonialism and indigenous queer cultures of Polynesia, through texts and images from and of the peoples of the archipelagoes of the South Pacific Islands, extending from the northwest in Hawai'i to the southeast in Aotearoa, including Sāmoa, Manu'a, Tonga, Viti, Tahiti, Rarotonga, Rapanui and others. Archival trauma is a theme of this work, but only in relation to the artist's search for connection to ancestral queer cultures of healing, the arts and the sciences, and political and communal relationships among genders, elites, commons, generations, all beings and the environment. Recovered images are connected in the book collage with indigenous oral texts and colonial texts in a mixture of languages from their first issues. The work is influenced by Sāmoan suifefiloi, the weaving of many garlands into one, of many threads into one story, and it reflects on contemporary philosophies of contingency, speculative realism, and indigenous futurism.

Dan Taulapapa McMullin lives on Muhheaconneok lands in Hudson, New York, with their partner Stephen. DTM has shown work at Hawai'i Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Native Art, the Metropolitan Museum, Musée du Quai Branly, Presence Autochtone, Auckland Art Gallery, and University of the South Pacific. Their book of collected poems Coconut Milk (2013) was published by the Suntrack Native Series with University of Arizona Press.
© 2022 Tropic Editions