The below is quoted directly from an email message circulated by the UHM Center for Biographical Research:
"Henri Hiro and the Tahitian Cultural Renaissance"
by Didier Lenglare
Thursday, March 10, 2011 • 12 noon – 1:15 pm
Center for Biographical Research • 1800 East West Road, Henke Hall 325
Henri Hiro was a poet, teacher, filmmaker, pastor, and activist, and the founder of l’Office Territorial d’Action Culturelle. Born on Mo‘orea in 1944, he was raised in Punaauia by parents who spoke only Tahitian. He traveled to France to study, then returned to the Islands and became one of the first Mä‘ohi artists and intellectuals to inspire a renaissance of Polynesian cultural identity. As part of his mission to revive that identity, he declared that Polynesians must write, and to address them directly, he wrote poetry in the Tahitian language. Many of his poems are collected in Pehepehe i ta‘u nüna‘a / Message poétique (1990, 2004). He died in March 1990, at the age of forty-six, after a long illness.
Didier Lenglare teaches French at the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, where he specializes in the emerging literature of New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Born in France and raised in Senegal, he has studied, lived, and worked in a wide variety of Francophone regions, from West Africa to Quebec and from Oceania to Louisiana, where he received his PhD from Louisiana State University for his work on “Métissage culturel et acceptation de l’autre à travers les littératures émergentes de la Polynésie française et de la Nouvelle-Calédonie."
For more information, contact the Center for Biographical Research at 956-3774 or firstname.lastname@example.org.