Kia ora! Wow, this week was a rollercoaster. For me it started on a massive high as I co-hosted a wānanga with The Wireless where we worked with a room of awesome (mostly) rangatahi to generate story ideas for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori. The day was really inspiring, but more on that later. The next day I had an artist collective visiting me and I had the pleasure of being with them all day as their art mātauranga (martauranga? Lol) slowly revealed itself. During all that Andrew Little decided to resign, we had a wave of optimism with Jacinda Ardern which all then got overshadowed by the bullshit following Metiria Tūrei around (shaped like David Seymour and coloured red thanks to the lack of support from Labour). So, all in all, this has been a week of it and I'm looking forward to a beer tonight! Let's do this and take a fresh approach to a brighter future, together.
1. Te Wairehe
Speaking of a brighter future, spend a couple of hours with some rangatahi and you'll be overcome with hope. Monday saw ten-ish people come to Te Papa and wānanga some ideas for Te Wiki o Te Reo. We started the day with a pātai our Kaituhi Reo Māori, Ranea Aperahama, likes to ask people "he aha te reo Māori ki a koe?", bringing out some deep and frank kōrero about the disrupted place of te reo in so many whanau. We used these stories to share further with each other before listening to some guest speakers, one of whom is my manager who also happens to be the Chair of Te Taura Whiri. After a day of distinctly Māori sharing (heavy stories shared with light), Wayne Ngata gave us a reality check: "People often ask me if I think our language is going to die, and I say 'yes'."
No one had gone there. To come from him also was a huge shock and after talking about how depressed I then felt he offered that "There is hope, us here are the hope." Which I get, within that roopu were supremely talented people with the ability to portray the diversity of our reo in new and engaging ways. They are our future and they are our hope. It's a huge privilege to be on this waka with them, and with Marcus from The Wireless and I'm excited to see what comes of it. Speaking of The Wireless, here is one of my favourite pieces that they've produced which also features some of the contributors I'm looking forward to working with.
2. Only in Aotearoa
I'm a massive fan of Frickin' Dangerous Bro and Coco Solid and Māori Television's comedy shows (luv you 5eva 'Find Me a Māori Bride') so imagine my fucking OTT delight when I saw that they were coming together in the shape of new show 'Only in Aotearoa'. I've only managed to watch a few minutes of the first ep and I already love it. In the meantime here is an article from the latest Paperboy AKL (how do they manage to churn out so much great content?!) on Coco Solid / Jessica Hansell to check out.
3. Sings for the Street
This is beautiful: “We are not judged, we can sing and be part of something.” Given that we live in a world where hearing a news story about how a family with a one month old baby could soon find themselves living out of their cars is fast becoming an everyday item, this is a bit of gold in amongst the shit. Great choice of waiata too.
4. NZ Art History Parallels
If you're on Twitter, you should follow this account. It's uncanny how well our politicians lend themselves to comparison with various artworks. Do we have a higher proportion of doofuses in power than other countries? For an insightful breakdown, here's a short and sweet article about the creator.
5. Te Reo Māori Kuki Airani
As my week started with Te Reo Maori, it seems fitting to acknowledge the fact that it is Cook Island Māori language week this week. My colleague Rachel Yates, Curator Pacific Cultures, just published this blog about a harrowing-sounding account of slavery in the Cooks and the connection between loss of language and loss of culture. We need to know these stark histories so as to understand what we have and fight to keep it. Arohatia te reo!
With that in mind, let's go out with an empowering brown girl song that I remember from my childhood: