(* _ *) - 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 and John Key doesn't want to attend #parkupforhomeless at the invitation of Metiria Turei coz he "doesn't really want to hang out with her." OMG lol John Keys, you're sooooo funny. What a great Prime Minister, making jokes in the face of New Zealanders living in poverty like this family and these children. What a fucking joke. Not. Where is the duty of care? Where is the empathy? Where is the sense of responsibility and accountability for our country's most vulnerable? I can't see it. Having a PM and government make jokes and brush this aside like they're wiping toast crumbs off a kitchen bench has left me totally flabbergasted. I'm so mad and sad that I'm not sure what I'm doing rn but here are some links to some things that are way better than our government:
1. I'd encourage you all to (re)read Matariki's first piece on Tusk, Barriers to Access, on the importance of providing equal access to art, history and culture for all children in New Zealand and the role museum's can play in this: "In this society of rife inequality, let knowledge be the great equaliser, let children gain a sense of ownership within a space that will grow and change with them."
A developing initiative, I don't think the Museum has a physical site yet. According to their website they have just secured initial funding and are developing ideas around what this Museum could and should be. Born out of a desire to make the invisible, visible.
Conceived by current and former foster youth, the museum offers a unique opportunity to understand foster youth perspectives and how youth can heal and grow with supportive relationships, collaborative decision‐making, positive encounters, and respect… In the words of one contributor, “The foster care system leaves a footprint of loss and I’ve had to unlearn every single way the system raised me.”
4. Museum Practice (Museums Association journal), Museums and homelessness issue (if you have access to irl or online MP journal, that is)
Looks at the many ways museums can participate in the lives of homeless people through outreach, volunteer programmes, and telling their stories. Importantly they have a section dedicated to going "Beyond Depiction." It's one thing to acknowledge the existence of homelessness, it's another to actively address it. The adage "nothing about us, without us" rings true here.
5. This is more of a question- are any museums in New Zealand working in and around homelessness and poverty? As in collecting oral histories, conducting outreach programmes, working with affected people or advocacy groups etc? I know that it's easy to write about what we *should* be doing, so I'd be so keen to hear from anyone who actually *is*
Like all good NZers should I've been having a Che Fu revival of late and have particularly been feelin' this track. It's posivibes but also real coz, Che Fu. And the line "war without machine gun fire and it's on home-ground" is kind of accurate rn.