The Kōtuku Emerging Leaders project is one of three initiatives developed by LIANZA to strengthen the library and information profession in New Zealand and was launched as a result of member feedback in 2012.
With my part of the project completed, I’m left with the question: who are these institutions for, and who are they serving, if not projects like this one? When talking about leadership, GLAM institutions should be enabling people and communities to lead their own projects as much as they should be leading themselves.
Talking to colleagues and friends it seems many of us have some kind of leadership epiphany in this sector. It might be the moment they realise they do or don’t want to move up the ladder, or the moment they realise “oh shit I am a boss now”. My leadership epiphany was less a “what I want to do” moment and more of a “oh hell to the no” moment. It came as I sat looking at the leadership team of the council I was working for - the CEO, COO and CFO (essentially the people who made the big decisions)...
At my high school, prefects and the head girl and boy were voted into their positions by classmates. When I was called into the headmaster’s office and told that I’d been chosen to be head girl for 2006, I was deeply shocked to be chosen. I don’t say this to humble brag (because really, who cares about a high school ‘position’ 10 years later? Not me) but because it was my first experience of being a leader, and opened my eyes to the fact that perhaps this quite traditional form of leadership wasn’t for me.
I love pretty much anything GLAM related, and the National Digital Forum is no exception. This year’s NDF was my second time there and I wasn’t disappointed. My biggest take-away this year was around the need for continuous professional development.
“Museums are curiosity machines” said Seb Chan, and judging by how popular this comment was on twitter, National Digital Forum attendees very much agreed. So how can this curiosity, of the staff and the visitors, be fostered? Let’s work our way through this.
As part of my postgrad I did a bunch of research and thinking about social media, ruminating very seriously about its democratic potential for museums to engage with their audiences and share knowledge, smashing the hierarchies of old and ushering a new era. This was a while ago now, when social media still had a utopian glint in its eye, peddling its potential before the rest of the world worked how to make money from it.
Crowdfunding has created exciting opportunities for artists and entrepreneurs, but what sort of opportunities does it offer to GLAM institutions? I believe crowdfunding provides a way for museums to engage with communities and interest groups and give those communities a sense of ownership of a project from the outset of the project.
To look at it in terms of who it represents, the internet provides a broad and deep snapshot of contemporary Māori life. The accessibility it affords us to understand our people as we are right now is unsurpassed. It is therefore imperative that we find ways to record how we are living online, and it is through this representation that we may avoid some of the gaps in knowledge that were perpetuated by our collecting forebears.
The New Zealand Fashion Museum (NZFM) is New Zealand’s first specialised fashion museum and it presents a radical new model for museums. Founded in 2010 by Doris de Pont, the NZFM is dedicated to documenting New Zealand fashion. This includes New Zealand designed garments, garments manufactured in New Zealand, as well as those worn by New Zealanders.
My manager @adamrmor and I were recently discussing the difference between his use of Twitter and my own. He’s a professional user and I’m a sharing professional.
I was recently reading an article in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, of all places, in which a “personal digital brand” was defined “as a strategic self-marketing effort, crafted via social media platforms, which seeks to exhibit an individual's professional persona” (Kleppinger & Cain, 2015).
It’s called ‘Flight Path’ because its about the different trajectories, influences and motivations of my artist friends. I also like birds. Especially the albatross who, with its massive wingspan, goes on crazy long distance flights during which it cries salty tears as it filters the sea water it drinks. Those salty tears are realised in the tukutuku pattern Roimata Tōroa. He tauira hei hokinga mahara nē? Taking off, going the distance and remembering where you’re from: Flight Path (insert classic kiwi BBQ reggae song about knowing you’re roots…?). ‘Albatross’ is also a Fleetwood Mac song, just like ‘Tusk’ – bit of a stretch there.
In our industry, we're very careful to rely on thoroughly-vetted primary resources, which is important when producing an authoritative text. But I am also learning that it is critical not to second-guess the value of more "informally acquired" information, which can provide a different kind of insight to that gleaned from a published work.
For many GLAM professionals, the Museums Aotearoa/Australia conference is seen as the main forum to network, engage with current practice, and generally feel galvanised by the sector we work in. Expand your focus and you’ll find smaller, subject-based events which are more accessible yet still provide meaningful opportunities for connecting and learning.
I was looking forward to meeting scholar and keynote speaker Robert Janes at MA16 in Auckland. But I respected him even more for not showing up (physically). Janes beamed in from Canada and explained that he would have loved to visit New Zealand, but did not want to contribute carbon emissions by flying across the world. I respected his integrity.
A conversation about neutrality is a discussion about a certain strategy to encourage inclusivity in GLAM institutions. It is not the only strategy which can achieve this, however, and if we are limiting the discussion to neutrality it limits which institutions can participate, excluding innovative, new institutional models for cultural centres.
doubt I am alone in the feeling of unease I get when it comes to exhibitions about war. By nature, wars are problematic and so it comes as no surprise that exhibitions about them will be too. Wars are messy, traumatic, have multiple viewpoints, and deep personal connections for so many people. Are we making connections between what happened one hundred years ago with what we are witnessing right now?
These past months have been charged with a sense of curiosity and grappling - of how to make sense of an emergent identity that has been more than a century in the making. These thoughts have cumulatively left me in a state of cloudy euphoria dampened only by an incapacity to turn words into action.
Now is not the time for neutrality. I recently saw a post by the imitable Quann sisters (if you love fierce women who also have the fiercest sense of style you’ve ever seen, then you need to check them out) that points to a very simple reason why we need to reject neutrality...
It was Oscar Wilde (via Lord Darlinghurst) who defined a cynic as someone “who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”, and dealing with such cynicism is a fact of life for the GLAM sector – the value of what we do is questioned, our funding is cut, and proposed new initiatives are dismissed by people who do not fully appreciate the value of them.
Continuing on from our Museums Australasia panel discussion, here are Matariki's answers to the prepped follow-up questions. 'Tis always good to take some time to chill, ohmmm out, reflect, and dream of a brighter future.
Continuing on from our Museums Australasia panel discussion, Nina answers some follow-up questions about finding a foothold in the sector, the importance of language and the possibilities for an entrepreneurial cultural sector....
From Moana Jackson and David Garneau’s opening keynotes to Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei leader Taiaha Hawke’s closing words, this year’s Museums Australasia was the first time I had seen a conference bookended by indigenous challenges for positive change. Moana’s reference to author Patricia Grace’s statement that ‘books are dangerous’ was a key point as he calmly took us through his thoughts on how those with ontological power are the masters of all things. Through this thought he asserted that museums can also be dangerous; who are they naming and who are they silencing?
Recently Alex Christopher, from Australia, presented a paper as part of a panel at the Museums Australasia conference. The panel was called “Just doing it” and Alex presented about her ph.D. research “Tomorrow’s Art Museum and Gallery Professionals”, which posited that “The wilderness years” – between study and landing a role in the sector, should be better considered.
Once, when searching for a particular object on a high up shelf in the midst of a collection store, I came across an object that was mysterious to me. Its round amber body and darker outer ring made me think it was some sort of stone. Curiosity got the better of me and I took it with me back to my desk to look further...
This post is in response to Matariki Williams’ thought-provoking observation Being brown in your gallery, published here on Tusk. Matariki’s post reiterates how contentious Jono Rotman’s Mongrel Mob Portraits are, and the difficulty that public art galleries have in being socially inclusive. I would like to comment from the perspective of social inclusion in contemporary art exhibitions and corresponding public art galleries (so you’re aware, I identify as female and Pākehā, among other things).
Talking with friends after the Four Waves of Feminism conference, we attempted to articulate our feelings about the day. Nina best summed it up for me with: “It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I don’t know what I was expecting.” When Courtney used the metaphor of the four waves of feminism not being consecutive but instead being waves that came in, crashed, receded and left traces of themselves; it was the closest interpretation to what I expected the day to be like.
I used to visit Wikipedia unthinkingly, and on a daily basis, until I found myself working behind-the-screens as a fledgling editor on The Dowse Art Museum’s Wikipedia Project. It was then that I became clued up on some of the issues that plague the internet’s largest open-source encyclopedia. It was a revelation that the status-quo needed to be challenged and improved upon.
I have spent the last thirteen years surrounded by women. Despite all this time I spent in undergrad, in postgrad, and at work, it still tends to be that the women are by my side on my level, with the men in the positions of power. At university the majority of lecturers were male, and like every place of work ever, men tend to dominate mine, even if it isn’t in terms of numbers.
Riding the wave of controversy that has surrounded it since it was first shown in Auckland at Gow Langsford Gallery, Jono Rotman’s Mongrel Mob Portraits spent three divisive months hung in City Gallery last year.
I've never worked with Fiona but I know she is part of the wider, welcoming and enveloping National Digital Forum whānau who have been so supportive of us here at Tusk. In all of our interactions, Fiona has been gracious with her time and infectious with her energy, and having someone like her believe in the mahi that we do at Tusk, and in our day-to-day jobs, is really emboldening. So, thank you Fiona, we look forward to continuing to work with you!
(Nina) first clapped eyes on Janneen during the 2017 Museums Australasia conference. She spoke to a full room eager to hear about mana taonga around her role in helping to create the exhibition Kōrero Mai Kōrero Atu at Auckland Museum. But more specifically her discussion was all about the amokura, or red-tailed tropicbird. To get the full story of Janneen's re-discovery of these birds and their feathers in the Museum's collection and what they meant for the exhibition you should read her piece in The Pantograph Punch...
Chanel is someone who has always had a presence in my (Matariki) time in the sector, but due to time and space, I've only ever met her a handful of times. With her whakaaro below, Chanel touches on some concerns I have also had about the value of the sector for people who have pressing issues. But, as is the way with so many of our tuakana, Chanel remains optimistic. So we take that lesson, and thank you for it. Ngā mihi nunui Chanel!
For our first Tuakana of the year, I'd like to introduce one of the backbones of our mahi here at Te Papa: Martin Lewis. With every little query we have, Martin has suggestions pouring at us before we've even begun. Aside from being an absolute whizzbang gem of a librarian, he's a genuinely kind and warm person. I've held numerous positions and internships at Te Papa over the past 8 years and Martin's friendly face and supportive ear has been a constant, so thank you Martin.
Claire's comment below (spoiler alert) about working in a multi-generational way is one of the things I like best about working at Te Papa. Having folk like Claire around to work with means I get the chance to work in a (to steal from the tuakana header) reciprocal way every day. In my short time at Te Papa, Claire has worked inclusively and enthusiastically.
Sean has been an unassuming and ever-supportive presence during my time in museums. I first came across his work as a plucky museums studies student where I was introduced to his take on contemporary collecting and promptly had my mind blown. His gentle reproach of museums' continued focus on portraying Pacific people through 'traditional' taonga was part of what spurred me into the research direction I've since undertaken.
I (Elspeth) have been lucky enough to have Siren as my manager since February 2016, and what a manager she’s been. Passionate, enthusiastic and with high expectations of her team, she has been an incredibly inspirational leader and a tireless supporter of best collection management practice (even when faced with rather less enthusiastic colleagues!) Siren has the remarkable ability to make whoever she is talking with feel like the most important and interesting person in the room, and her dedication to exceptional collection management rubs off on all around her...
Katrina was the only Māori working at The Dowse when I started an internship there. Unfortunately this is not uncommon in the cultural sector, but fortunately whanaungatanga is a powerful beast, constantly reminding us to look after one and other. Katrina epitomised Dowse hospitality and backed me, as all tuakana do, by being a boss. She dresses like a boss and demands respect like a boss and is an all round boss of a human.
I first met Mish on the bus home from a Vic Uni Museum Studies 'soiree'. Later that year I ended up working at Ngā Taonga with her and she was my go to person - for laughs, singing and excellent advice. Mish has a depth of aroha which she tirelessly pours into her communities like Pacific Underground, Kava Club, and year after year she rallies the troops and showcases Pasifika film and filmmakers at the ever growing Siapo Cinema. She makes me and my friends feel valued, supported and inspired. What a tuakana!
I (Matariki) first got to know Liz through the paper trail she left behind her at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. We then finally got to meet one another at the FIHRM conference last year where we were speaking in the same session and on the same panel. Being both so full of nerves, we managed to find each other before the panel and have a hug. And then we laughed a lot. Because that's what you do when you're nervous but it is also what you do when you're with Liz, you laugh!
When thinking of Leanne's I came up with the awesome portmanteau of 'Tūhoekana' as she continues my work tradition of working with Tuhoe big sisters who know the pull of home, what keeps us in the cities and crucially, have my back. Leanne is supportive, fun, funny and always up for a good rant. More importantly, Leanne is thoughtful and empathetic and knows the power of a good de-brief over kai. I miss working with her immensely but hopefully we can stir up some good cross-sector mahi. Byeeee Felicia!
From our Formation columnist, Jess Aitken: During my time in the sector so far I really have been spoilt in meeting some incredible and inspirational women. Rowan offered me my first proper collections project at the Police Museum and I returned for more during my first year placement. For me, Rowan has been the definition of a tuakana: offering words of encouragement and support, helping me trust in my abilities and just being one of those ridiculously clever, cool and articulate people you are eternally grateful to have met.
This is a hard one for me (Matariki) as the reason it's going up is that this will be my last week working with Matthew who has been my manager for the last 5-ish months at Manatū Taonga | Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Matthew is the kind of manager that believes in his employees' abilities and has established a culture that enables us to work to our strengths. The environment that he has created for us is supportive, interesting, and importantly, it is fun.
You know when you meet someone and you feel like you've actually met them before because they are just so damn lovely? I (Nina) met Chris last year at the National Digital Forum at Te Papa. We were sat next to each other going - "you seem familiar...," "you seem familiar too..." From that serendipitous meeting, Chris has been one Tusk's biggest supporters- full of tautoko and always ready to engage with us and to spread the good word.
Nina and I first met Tamsin during the golden time, back in 2013, when I was on my final placement and she was working a contract at Wellington Museum (formerly Museum of Wellington, City and Sea). Tamsin was my supervisor and was always a calming and supportive presence. Lately we've had a chance to reconnect with Tamsin through the Museums Australasia conference and the wonderful Attic exhibition at the museum. It has been a good reminder of how many good people there are in the sector and why we want to remain.
We were recently given a golden line that perfectly summed up the Tusk kaupapa: "More voices enable us to normalize a culture of constructive criticism." The line came from Te Tuhi's Senior Curator Bruce Phillips and though it wasn't in direct relation to our work, we thought it was to good to pass up.
There is no doubt that Victoria Leachman’s enthusiasm for copyright is contagious. As the Rights Advisor (or unofficial Copyright Queen) at Te Papa Tongarewa her passion for facilitating access and reuse of collections is infinite. Her personal agency gently encouraged Te Papa to embrace the Open GLAM philosophy, resulting in Te Papa to be amongst the first institutions in New Zealand to offer freely downloadable images.
Lissa is not someone who I (Matariki) have known for very long, as opposed to a lot of the tuakana featured, she is a relatively new addition to my tuakanacoven. Up until very recently, Lissa and I were working quite closely together and I must congratulate her for putting up with my sass (must be admitted that she has a fair amount of it herself!) and has joked in the past that there is a reason why people thought I was her Senior Adviser instead of the other way around.
We're sure we're not alone when we say that Stephanie Gibson is one of our favourite people in the sector. She was particularly influential for Nina back when she was a Masters placement student and then a (temporary) fully-fledged employee with the History team at Te Papa. Stephanie was endlessly helpful, kind and welcoming - attributes which are no small thing to a nervous young sprout at the beginning of their career.
Michelle’s dedication to the sector manifests itself in many ways, but perhaps most publically through the Emerging Museum Professionals group she founded several years ago. Here at Tusk we feel a strong affinity with the ‘stand up and be heard’ ethos that is at the heart of EMP.
It is our belief here at Tusk that Tryphena is one of the hardest working people in the sector. Alongside her everyday mahi at MTG Hawkes Bay, she is also the Kaitiaki Representative on the Museums Aotearoa board. Every year Tryphena manages to organise hui for Kāhui Kaitiaki almost single-handedly, this year being no exception.
From our contributor Claire Adele Baker: Blair Jackson was an invaluable mentor during my first year working for CoCA Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki in Christchurch. During my time as the only CoCA staff member (at times a little lonely or overwhelming), Blair was totally available to meet with me and answer any questions or connect me with members of his knowledgeable Christchurch Art Gallery team, ie. Sean Duxfield (Exhibitions & Collections Manager) and Gina Irish (Registrar).
At my graduation the speaker said something about the path never being clear in the arts, but its reward lay in the ability to shape a career around your interests. Dion recently came to our Exhibitions team meeting and told us about his work with communities in Australia, his brokering of the return of the Te Pahi Medal and inspired us with the idea of creating equity in community relationships.
As we've said many times, a highlight of creating Tusk had been the friendships and networks (both irl and online) created through a shared love, commitment and passion for the cultural sector. Eloise Wallace has been one of those great connections. Her commitment to and belief that community and people are at the heart of the cultural sector is truly inspiring. For us she forms part of a growing network of bawse women in the sector who are hard-working, ethically and socially-minded, supportive and just generally kick-ass.
I (Matariki) first met Lynette during her Masters placements at Te Papa. After this, I then took up the chance to volunteer with Lynette writing Collections Online entries for World War I soldiers in the photos taken by Wellington photographers Berry & Co, the men became affectionately known as the Berry Boys. Two aspects of Lynette's work have been particularly inspiring to me, firstly the tireless work she has undertaken to build rapport with the communities with which Te Papa has a relationship and secondly, how she has expanded the idea of what value is in a material object through her acquisitions of children's objects. As a mother I appreciate the autonomy provided to children in this latter move, the minds of kids are filled with more potential than adults are aware and Lynette understands this.
It makes sense to begin our posts in 2016 with Conal McCarthy as, in many ways, he is where Nina and Matariki's paths in the GLAM sector were first solidified. Conal is the Programme Director for Museums and Heritage Studies at Victoria University where Nina and Matariki both completed their Masters. During the two years in which we both studied under his tutelage, we were shown how important the relationship is between practice and theory, a relationship that is exemplified through the invaluable placements that are undertaken. It is through these placements that we met people in the sector and better understood what really went on behind the scenes at museums. Though it has been a few years since each of us graduated, Conal is still a source of support and remains so for each of his former students. For this, and all else, we thank you Conal.
2015 eh. What a year. It feels appropriate to end this year's tuakana series with someone super special and we're lucky enough to have the wonderful Ruth Harvey on board. Both Nina and Matariki have really just got to know Ruth via email over the last few weeks. We've known of her and her work for a while though - first at Puke Ariki and now at the incredible (insert all kinds of amazing adjectives here) AS220 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Matariki first met Bronwyn through the museums studies course at Victoria University though of course, being Bronwyn Dalley, her reputation preceded her. Bronwyn's course was a student favourite as she aptly bestowed upon us skills that would prove useful in our coming careers. As a teacher she is a natural: supportive and quietly unassuming. And engaging, she is one inspiring and engaging wahine. As part of her class we also devised the cultural sector theory of "cake therapy" though it may have been a thinly-veiled attempt to get her to keep baking for us.
When Matariki first contacted Conal McCarthy at Victoria University's school of Museums and Heritage Studies about her wish to study to become a museum professional, he sent her to meet with Awhina Tamarapa. At the time, Awhina was a Curator in the Mātauranga Māori team and was really informative, understanding and polite throughout the meeting (even though I had taken along my not-quite-one-year-old who managed to make another baby cry). Ever since this first meeting, Awhina has been a supportive presence in my life which is something I am ever grateful of. Ngā mihi aroha Awhina.
Introducing our first international Tuakana - Sarah Sutton. Sarah was a big influence on Nina while she was writing her Masters dissertation on environmental sustainability in New Zealand museums. As well as an author, Sarah is an independent consultant based in the United States helping museums, zoos, gardens, aquariums and historic sites improve their environmental sustainability
Dr. Teresia Teaiwa was someone who I heard snippets about over the past few years; her words acting as conduits for her powerful insights, passing from countless others to me and ever onward. Her mind, her prose, her generosity, her aroha, her manaakitanga and her mana preceded her, and it is through others that I feel this loss. I feel it for ngā tāngata katoa o te Moana nui a Kiwa and most especially for her aiga, Sean and her boys.
Bill English's recent-ish unverified, careless and actually just incorrect claim that unemployed young New Zealanders are unable to find and hold down a job because the can't pass a drug test has been weighing on me. Every now and again, the memory of it pops back into my mind and a seething anger rises that our grey-flannel Prime Minister could be so dismissive, careless, and so damn ready to throw young people under the bus.
This week I am tackling a more difficult aspect of leadership, dealing with bad leaders. Many of the posts so far this month have talked about empowering, inspirational and supportive leaders in the GLAM sector, which thankfully appear to be in abundance. I feel especially proud to personally know a few of these amazing people who actively advocate for their staff. However, I feel that there’s often hesitation to talk openly about the negative experiences of leadership.
This week I spent my first few days as a PhD student at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Whakatāne. Proximity to whānau and to the inspiring kaupapa being pursued by other students has been really humbling. I also feel incredibly lucky to have the supervisor I have as I have admired his work for so long (kaupapa Māori methodologies up in here), so at the risk of sounding #blessed, here’s my Rima Tere about how #blessed I am.
Have all of ya'll been tuning into the #cindytalks panel discussions surrounding the Cindy Sherman show at City Gallery? Being a new Aucklander my experience of them has been virtual and primarily twitter-based. From afar it seems like they were a mixed bag but hey, that's feminism I suppose. The panels wrapped up this past week with a discussion on Aging and Agency with Miranda Harcourt, Dr Ella Henry, Jacqueline Fahey, artist and Dr Claire Robinson. I'm sure it was a stirring event...
Today’s Fast Five is inspired by a recent trip to Te Kopi Homestead in Putangirua. Our little whānau went away with another little whānau and though it was only two nights out of the city, and it felt like a week (in a good way). What more can you ask for in an Aotearoa holiday than sun, bbqs, swims and beer? We got all that and more. So that’s my Self Care for this fortnight: reminding myself to get out of the city.
As museum workers, narrative is always on the brain. Shaping narratives is the basis of everything we do - we do this through our collections, research, exhibitions, education programmes and so on. It's all about stories. And as museum workers it is our challenge to coax new narratives out of our collections; to find hidden threads and weave them into something meaningful and enduring for our audiences; to find new ways to frame familiar stories. So in the spirit of exploring new narratives I present you with the following...
In keeping with my last Fast Five’s aim to reflect on something good from my previous fortnight, this here FFF is dedicated to today’s ‘Self-care for the yeah’: craft. It is inspired by a lunch that a dear friend, and fellow mama, organised last weekend. A bunch of mum friends bunched into Cicio Cacio in Newtown for a (very) long lunch of kai, wine, craft and great kōrero. So here we are, for the love of craft, these are some beautiful things I’ve looked at and felt inspired by.
Keep listening to each other. Saturday was a wonderful day filled with a kind of elation that only happens when you feel part of a collective pushing toward the same goal. But as it happens not everyone feels a part of the collective or even wants to be a part of it. I've read a lot of criticism of the Women's Marches - lambasting them for their whiteness; particularly indigenous and women of colour calling out how reductive, narrow and exclusionary feminism can be.
So, this is an ominous date isn’t it? Well, I’ve decided this year to consciously not name my opening Fast Five with some great name like I did with 2016 (it was titled Two Thousand and Yas Kween) because, well, last year divebombed. It divebombed real hard. Instead, today’s Fast Five has the loose theme of Defiance because that is how I want to live this year: being tough and not letting any knocks get me down whilst also consciously doing things that I love. Let’s do this whānau!
Hello 2017! I finished up the year feeling a bit overwhelmed and tired and fed up. My life was in a state of flux which I've discovered makes me feel very unsettled in my own skin. All in all it was a bit...
I hope this reaches most of you as you’re relaxing somewhere or taking it easy on your last day of work for the year. We all know how tumultuous this year has been and how much we need to have a break from it but while I have your attention, I thought we’d recap on a few things and try take some posivibes out of each situation.
In what will be my last Fast Five for 2016, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year. One filled with highs and lows and more changes than I can shake a stick at. I think calling this year bizarre is an understatement. Key is out and Trump is in and I watched more sad Guy Fieri clips than I would like to admit. Let 's look at some of the standout moments:
This has been a lucky couple of weeks for me as I’ve had the opportunity to attend some brain-expanding conferences. We’ve already covered the NDF conference multiple times so I won’t do that again, but this week I have attended the If we never met indigenous art curating wānanga and The End of Fashion conference. These two kaupapa (art and fashion) occupy two different yet overlapping areas of my interests, the intersections of which I have detailed below.
First thing's first - it's all about people. The two days were filled with talk of data and pixels and digitisation and VR/AR. But there's a common thread that link all of these things - each are a vehicle to bring about human interaction, to augment human experience and to bring stories to the surface. To use the magic of digital (coz some kind of witchcraft must be involved somewhere) to connect people across time and space; to make communication easier and to bring stories to the surface.
This is what I tweeted out when I was feeling a wee bit tipsy and a lot overwhelmed on the bus home from the annual National Digital Forum conference this week. This year was my first time attending NDF (not including sneaking into the drinks last year when I masqueraded as the government Chief Historian [thanks Neill!]) and I was really blown away by the generous and supportive nature of the event.
This little guy is is a myosin protein dragging around an endorphin, on his way up to the brain. It looks happy because it is basically happiness. In times like these (shaky earth, shaky politics, shaky people, uncertain futures) I take comfort in the fact that this little dude is still working away, trying his best. And in these times of heightened anxiety, I also take comfort in people. It's all about people. So this week's Fast Five is dedicated to great people, doing great things:
Well, I bet you all know what that is in reference to. We’re currently in a vortex of mourning what could have been and fearing what has come to pass, and it is a situation that makes it hard to find any silver lining. The only thing I have found comfort in is the solidarity I have found in the shell-shocked people I’ve talked to, we know this is a societal nadir and that we owe it to all that is good in the world that we fight against it.
There's nothing quite like the feeling of serendipity. Like many of you, I recently picked up Vincent O'Malley's The Great War for New Zealand and not long after starting it, I had one of those moments where you feel history fold in and time collapse into itself...
The theme for next year’s Museums Aotearoa conference is He Waka Eke Noa | Museums of Inclusion and the expressions of interest are closing on Monday so it’s fair to say that it has been on my mind (nothing quite like a last minute submission!). With this theme in mind, I’ve been mulling over this theme so this week’s FF is some prompts to get you thinking, and hopefully submitting a proposal. Kia kaha!
This week has been hella whirlwind and a little bewildering but it's also been about new beginnings. New job, new city, new people. This week's Fast Five is all about those new thingies and other significant happenings of the last week...
Kia ora! We're back from our brief publishing hiatus which means that I'm also back from my ever-so-brief hararei. And despite how depresso the title is, it has actually turned into a beautifully sunny day in Te Whanganui a Tara. I'm not gonna lie tho, I would prefer to be drinking beers in the sunshine with mates while exploring Te Waipounamu. But, all good things must come to an end, eventually. Though I tried in earnest not to think about mahi, the holiday did get me thinking about this here little thing called Fast Five so here are some holiday reflections.
This week’s Fast Five is brought to you by things that were, things that are (maybe we should change them) and some things that have not yet come to pass...On Tuesday I travelled to Wellington to attend Robert Janes’ skyped-in Michael Volkerling Memorial Lecture Museums without Borders: A Manifesto. Janes is a pretty epic dude. He’s all about ethical, mindful museums who are guided by integrity and a deep sense of social justice.
Last night I went with a fellow mum to watch Bad Moms (for the second time) and lemme tell you, I had a great time. It's so awesome to be around other young wahine, who can jump on the ranting bandwagon but who also just get it. I've had two further phone calls with other mates today who just get it, and had lunch with colleagues of mine who just get it. And that's a world that I want to live in, being surrounded and supported by, and supporting, other on to it wahine. So this is an ode to ladies.
So #WednesdayWhakaaro this week was pretty awesome. If you don’t know, #WednesdayWhakaaro is a weekly event where we present a cultural sector related question to our Twitter community. It’s a way for us to encourage conversation around burning sector issues, topics that interest us, or just things that we don’t know much about and want to know more about. It’s also a way for us to get smarter about stuff, cos hot damn there’s a lot of amazing people on Twitter with heaps of knowledge. This past Wednesday I asked about museum apps. And man, we had heeeeaps of kōrero with some superb folk
Kia ora! I’m writing this in the past, 7pm on Thursday to be precise, and I’m writing from bed because I’m sick and bed is the best. Because this has been such a long and tiring week of kid-sickness which has been transferred to me, this is a Fast Five about things that have made me happy this week. I’m not going to lie, this is mostly videos because #bed #sick #comfort and it’s now Friday afternoon so I’ve been in bed for almost 24 hours.
(* _ *) this is my face right now. It's been pretty hard to avoid the topic of poverty and homelessness of late, although our government seems to be doing a really exceptional job in ignoring it. Supposedly, Auckland is experience a housing 'challenge' not a crisis, Paula Bennett hasn't bothered reading an academic study out of Otago Uni about how almost half our homeless population are in work or studying because apparently it's too political for her liking...
We don’t have Sky so I haven’t watched a single Olympics event. My gym is playing them in the ‘Cardio Cinema’ (I know, what even is Les Mills Extreme) but I haven’t had a chance to make it there yet. Woe is me, I know. But, I do love the Olympics. There are some impressive people pushing their bodies to extreme limits. So, in honour of the Olympics and the history surrounding it, here are some links to get your brain tank churning of a Friday afternoon.
I have just finished reading Robert Janes' new anthology Museums without Borders: Selected writings of Robert R. Janes. It is a presentation of key works accumulated over the course of his near 40 year career. While reading it I was flung around from feeling "yussss lets do this thing. Ethically responsible museums - ASSSSEMMMMBLLLLE!" to "holy shit this is an impossible job." It is an exhaustive and at times an exhausting tome. Sometimes I felt a but like a scolded school kid.
Today is my last day working at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. I’m such a sook when it comes to change, even when the change is exciting and new and something that I’ve wanted for a long time. However, to get me through the thought of leaving all the great colleagues that I’ve worked with in the past year, today’s Fast Five is all about reflecting on some things I’ve learnt during my time at MCH and the kaupapa that I will carry forward with me into my new mahi and on Tusk.