Tropic Editions
The Healer’s Wound: A Queer Theirstory of Polynesia (Second Edition)
Dan Taulapapa McMullin

Spiral Bound
146 pages
6 x 9 inches
Edition of 300

ISBN 978-1-7376872-1-4

Co-published by Tropic Editions and Puʻuhonua Society

Summary: The Healer's Wound: A Queer Theirstory of Polynesia (Second Edition) is an artist's book, a poet's collage, based on years of archival research by Sāmoan fa'afafine artist and poet Dan Taulapapa McMullin. Originally published in 2022, this second edition re-imagines much of the material presented by the first edition, and expands with a new collection of poems punctuating the existing work. The half-size, coil-bound format invites readers to treat the publication less as a finished project and more as a journal. The work of healing is ongoing.

The healer’s wound is in reference 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 northeast in Hawaiʻi to the southwest in Aotearoa, including Sāmoa, Manu'a, Tonga, Viti, Tahiti, Rarotonga, Rapanui and others. Archival trauma informs Dan’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. Visually, 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 MoMA, Honolulu 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.
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