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Issue , 2013

Te Ao Maarama Issue

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News

  • ENSOC Apologises for Racist Video

  • A-path-y

  • VBC You Later

  • One in Five Victoria Students Drop Out

  • Mo’ Money Less Students

  • University Council By-election

  • Eye on Exec

  • “Road to Hell Built on Great Intentions”

  • Stay Classy, World

  • Features

  • manawahine

    Mana Wahine

    I would encourage non-Māori women to support Māori women, and stand by their side, but never lead them in their own discussions – discussions, Annette and Maryan, which have been going on far longer than your lifetimes, and will continue hereafter.

    by

  • Indigenous Geeks

    Too many NZers view Māori as ‘others’. Where does this “Iwi versus Kiwi” mindset come from?

    by

  • maori

    Being Maori

    I am proud to be who I am: Māori. It’s a knowledge and gift I hold today, but I can’t say that it has always been this way.

    by

  • Te Herenga Waka Marae

    Ko Te Herenga Waka tō tātou marae i te whare wānanga nei. He whare wānanga i ngā kaupapa katoa o te ao e noho nei tātou, he tāhūhū kōrero anō mō ngā kōrero o nehe.

    by

  • The Cost of Happiness: The Elliot Rodgers case

    – SPONSORED – “[He] wept for the end of innocence, [and] the darkness of man’s heart.” Elliot Rodgers blamed others for his misery. He labelled it a crime that others lived a better life than him. He decided he would act out his revenge against humanity by ending the lives of six innocent people. College […]

    by

  • Te Pūtahi Atawhai

    Ki a koutou te hunga taiohi Māori, nei rā te mihi ki a koutou!!!

    by

  • Te Mana Ᾱkonga (National Māori Tertiary Students’ Association)

    Kia tukua atu te kupu whakamihi ki ngā maunga whakahī o te rohe nei e whakaruruhau nei i a tātou.

    by

  • Māoridom and Marxism

    There is the myth that the first settlers to arrive in Aotearoa wanted to escape the class system that existed in England; however, I would suggest that they moved here to set up their own class system.

    by

  • Ngā Rangahautira

    Don’t get us wrong: Law School is a wondrous place and the position occupied by Māori is a privileged one, but the struggle is inevitably real.

    by

  • Ki Te Whai Ao…ki Te Ao Maarama…

    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā kārangarangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa.

    by

  • Frozen

    Koinei tetahi kiriata ka whakamahana ana i te ngakau. Ki tā te tangata ko ngā kiriata kua waihanga a Walt Disney mō ngā tamariki nohinohi anake.

    by

  • Third3ye

    I hono te pēne ‘Third3ye’ i te timatanga o te tau 2013. Nō Tāmaki Makaurau rātou. Nā wai, nā wai, i tukuna e rātou ngā ‘EP’ e rua, ko ‘Earth Raps EP’ te tuatahi, ko ‘Anja EP’ te tuarua.

    by

  • Ngā Roopū Tōrangapu

    Why should tauira Māori vote for your party?

    by

  • A new challenge I have faced

    Raa atu, raa atu he wero ka wero i teetahi. Inaaia tata ake nei he raru ka wero i a au. He rawa kore ooku, he raru ki roto i tooku whaanau. Ka nui eenei kia whakahapa i a au i roto i ooku mahi.

    by

  • Working with Shane Jones

    Shane and I would start each day with a cuppa and talk about whatever was trending, at which point Matua would say: “Son, what do the young people think of…?”

    by

  • Te Po

    He moteatea tēnei kua whakatinana i tōku nei titiro ki te ao, mai i te titiro a tōku nei iwi o Ngāti Kahungunu.

    by

  • Tumuaki

    Now that we are in a post–Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) environment, we have experienced considerable change in the way we operate as a group, and therefore are seen in a different wavelength. This being said, we plan to focus on five key events throughout this year, tailored to Māori students at Vic.

    by

  • Styli Māori

    We continue to watch the rising talent, Adrienne Whitewood (Rongowhaakata), a young Māori designer from Rotorua who is inspired by Māori art, history and tikanga.

    by

  • Sharks on All Sides

    The current situation with the ownership of water is one which has sharks on all sides.

    by

  • Where The Bloody Hell Are You?

    Kua huri o tātou pona ki te mahanga o te ahi. Kua kaingahia o tātou taringa e te marea mo ngā kaupapa, ara a Hone Harawira e tutu ana i te puehu me ōna kōrero whakawhiu ki runga i a John Howard.

    by

  • Ngāi Tauira Kōmiti Whakahaere

    – SPONSORED – Ngā Patai: Ingoa Iwi Tō tūranga i Ngāi Tauira? (Position on NT) Ko wai tō kaiwhakaohooho?  (Who inspires you?) Ka tipu ake koe hei kanohi mō wai? (Who do you aspire to be?)   Elijah-Tyrone Pue Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi; Te Ātiawa; Ngāti Tūwharetoa Tumuaki Takirua Ko ngā tauira kua potae i tērā tau. […]

    by

  • Te Reo Rangikura a Moehau – Kuini Moehau

    Nau mai ki Te Reo Rangikura a Moehau. He reo i takea mai i nga Toi-a-Rangi, nga Toi-a-Papa.

    by

  • Māori and Pacific Architecture feature in the New Zealand Exhibition @ the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale 2014

    The Venice Architecture Biennale is the world’s architectural event, a leading forum for the exploration of architectural ideas and showcasing building design.

    by

  • He kōrero whakakapi, he mihi whakamutunga.

    “Ehara taku toa i te takitahi, engari he takitini”

    by

  • Ōku ao e rua

    Ko ahau te tamaiti tuatahi o te whānau ki te whai i te ara matauranga, ki te oti hoki i tāku kuraina i te kura tuarua.

    by

  • Blood Quantum

    I tēnei ao hurihuri, kua whanake haere ngā tuakiri o ngā tāngata o Aotearoa. Nā ngā mea rerekē pērā i te hekenga mai o ngā iwi tauiwi ki konei i puta ai ēnei momo whanaketanga.

    by

  • Te Mata Whānui o Te Moananui

    Nōku te waimarie kua tonoa ahau ki te tuhi kōrero mō tōku mata. Ehara i te mea e kī ana au, he rawe ki a au te kōrero mōku ake.

    by

  • Is it Special Treatment?

    “Whāia te mātauranga hei oranga mō koutou”
    “Seek after learning for the sake of your wellbeing”

    by

  • Whaikorero

    Whaikōrero: A woman’s place too?

    Traditionally, whaikōrero has been the domain of men. This article aims to broaden understandings about whaikōrero and the role of mana wahine within this practice, as well as reinforce the idea that Māori are a diverse people with varying opinions on gender roles.

    by

  • He Toto, He Kanohi

    He Toto, He Kanohi

    I te ao hurihuri nei, kua whakaputa ngā āhuatanga matatini o te tuakiri o te tangata. Ehara i te tika te nuinga o ngā kōrero o ināianei e pā ana ki tēnei.

    by

  • Ko Wai Au

    Ko Wai Au?

    Europeans were willing to assimilate to survive, even if it meant neglecting aspects of their heritage…however, not all Māori were and are willing to disregard features of Māoridom that have been passed down from our tūpuna.

    by

  • Waka Hourua

    Waka Hourua

    Ko te waka e kōrero nei au ko te waka hourua. Koinei rā te timatanga o mātau ngā tāngata o Te Moananui-a-Kiwa ahakoa Māori mai, Tahiti mai, Hawaiki mai, Satawal mai rānei, koianei tō tātau nei whakapapa.

    by

  • He tutaki Tipuna

    The American Museum of Natural History houses some very important pieces from the farthest corners of the world. However, the piece that was most significant to our group was the Paikea tekoteko.

    by

  • He waka eke noa: Sailing the Ship for World Youth

    It was a multicultural journey where I spent six weeks breathing, teaching, listening, dancing, learning, and so many other ‘ings’ with 240 rangatahi from 13 countries, from Japan to Peru to Egypt to Russia.

    by

  • travelling

    Travelling

    Travelling is more than going on a holiday with whānau, taking a road trip with friends, or boarding a plane to get from A to B.

    by

  • Interview With Mamari Stephens

    Co-Project Leader, Te Kaupapa Reo-a-Ture – The Legal Māori Project.

    by

  • duncan feature

    Treaty Values: A Conversation Lacking

    The Treaty of Waitangi is considered both our most important constitutional document and also the most boring part of your year of history.

    by

  • Whakatipu Te Reo

    Te Reo ki te kāinga.

    by

  • Kei Roto I Te Whare

    Indigenous and Māori housing.

    by

  • Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 2.54.32 PM

    He Kākano I Ruia Mai I Rangiātea

    Kohikohia ngā kākano, whakaritea te pārekereke, kia puāwai ngā hua.

    by

  • Matariki Ja Nai Boke!

    Are wa Subaru yo!

    by

  • Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 2.52.47 PM

    He Tuhinga Whakaaro

    Ka pēhea kia mau ai ngā āhua Māori.

    by

  • Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 2.50.46 PM

    Ka Ora Te Reo I Te Aha?

    Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori.

    by

  • Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 2.56.28 PM

    The Food Bill

    What does it mean for our communities?

    by

  • He Waka Ianei E Herea

    – SPONSORED – Rātou kua wehe atu I TE TAU KUA PAHURE, KUA TAU MAI TE KAPUA PŌURI I RUNGA I NGĀ TAUIRA, NGĀ KAIMAHI, NGĀ MĀORI O WIKITŌRIA. I NGARO ATU RĀ TE IERE O NGĀ MANU NEI, ARĀ KO ROB DOWNES, KO AUNTY PAE RĀTOU KO BOO (LINDA) PEARLESS. NEI NGĀ MAIMAI AROHA […]

    by

  • Whakaora i a tātau mahi!

    – SPONSORED – Whakakorengia te VSM! Tērā anō te mui o te mahi ki ngā pakihiwi o ngā māngai tauira Māori o te motu, rātou e whai i te ara pokepoke hei whai oranga ngā tauira ki ngā whare wānanga. Arā anō ngā tini take o te wā nei. Heoi, ehara i te mea he […]

    by

  • RANGATIRATANGA: Te Whakakoretanga o te Ture Takutai Moana

    – SPONSORED – He hua ka puta? Kua roa nei tātou ngā iwi Māori e whawhai ana mō te rangatiratanga o te whenua. E hia kē mai nei ngā whawhai kua tau ki mua i te aroaro o ngā Kooti. E hia kē ngā hīkoi mautohe i tīmata mai i ngā moka o te motu. […]

    by

  • Te Pire WAI262

    – SPONSORED – I te tau 1991 i tukuna atu tētahi kerēme ki te Te Rōpu Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi. Tokoono ngā iwi e kawe nei i tēnei take, ko Ngāti Kuri, ko Ngāti Wai, ko Te Rarawa, ko Ngāti Porou, ko Ngāti Kahungunu rātou ko Ngāti Koata. E kīa ana, kāore he […]

    by

  • Te Oranga o te Reo, te Oranga o te Iwi

    – SPONSORED – He tau anō, he Wiki anō, he mōheni anō. Ahakoa ngā tau maha kua pahure mai, ko te hiringa nui e tutū tonu ana ki ngā ngākau o te iwi Māori ko te reo. Tēnā koe e Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, te toitoi i te kaupapa o tēnei mōheni, te […]

    by

  • manawahine

    Mana Wahine

    I would encourage non-Māori women to support Māori women, and stand by their side, but never lead them in their own discussions – discussions, Annette and Maryan, which have been going on far longer than your lifetimes, and will continue hereafter.

    by

  • Indigenous Geeks

    Too many NZers view Māori as ‘others’. Where does this “Iwi versus Kiwi” mindset come from?

    by

  • maori

    Being Maori

    I am proud to be who I am: Māori. It’s a knowledge and gift I hold today, but I can’t say that it has always been this way.

    by

  • Te Herenga Waka Marae

    Ko Te Herenga Waka tō tātou marae i te whare wānanga nei. He whare wānanga i ngā kaupapa katoa o te ao e noho nei tātou, he tāhūhū kōrero anō mō ngā kōrero o nehe.

    by

  • The Cost of Happiness: The Elliot Rodgers case

    – SPONSORED – “[He] wept for the end of innocence, [and] the darkness of man’s heart.” Elliot Rodgers blamed others for his misery. He labelled it a crime that others lived a better life than him. He decided he would act out his revenge against humanity by ending the lives of six innocent people. College […]

    by

  • Te Pūtahi Atawhai

    Ki a koutou te hunga taiohi Māori, nei rā te mihi ki a koutou!!!

    by

  • Te Mana Ᾱkonga (National Māori Tertiary Students’ Association)

    Kia tukua atu te kupu whakamihi ki ngā maunga whakahī o te rohe nei e whakaruruhau nei i a tātou.

    by

  • Māoridom and Marxism

    There is the myth that the first settlers to arrive in Aotearoa wanted to escape the class system that existed in England; however, I would suggest that they moved here to set up their own class system.

    by

  • Ngā Rangahautira

    Don’t get us wrong: Law School is a wondrous place and the position occupied by Māori is a privileged one, but the struggle is inevitably real.

    by

  • Ki Te Whai Ao…ki Te Ao Maarama…

    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā kārangarangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa.

    by

  • Frozen

    Koinei tetahi kiriata ka whakamahana ana i te ngakau. Ki tā te tangata ko ngā kiriata kua waihanga a Walt Disney mō ngā tamariki nohinohi anake.

    by

  • Third3ye

    I hono te pēne ‘Third3ye’ i te timatanga o te tau 2013. Nō Tāmaki Makaurau rātou. Nā wai, nā wai, i tukuna e rātou ngā ‘EP’ e rua, ko ‘Earth Raps EP’ te tuatahi, ko ‘Anja EP’ te tuarua.

    by

  • Ngā Roopū Tōrangapu

    Why should tauira Māori vote for your party?

    by

  • A new challenge I have faced

    Raa atu, raa atu he wero ka wero i teetahi. Inaaia tata ake nei he raru ka wero i a au. He rawa kore ooku, he raru ki roto i tooku whaanau. Ka nui eenei kia whakahapa i a au i roto i ooku mahi.

    by

  • Working with Shane Jones

    Shane and I would start each day with a cuppa and talk about whatever was trending, at which point Matua would say: “Son, what do the young people think of…?”

    by

  • Te Po

    He moteatea tēnei kua whakatinana i tōku nei titiro ki te ao, mai i te titiro a tōku nei iwi o Ngāti Kahungunu.

    by

  • Tumuaki

    Now that we are in a post–Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) environment, we have experienced considerable change in the way we operate as a group, and therefore are seen in a different wavelength. This being said, we plan to focus on five key events throughout this year, tailored to Māori students at Vic.

    by

  • Styli Māori

    We continue to watch the rising talent, Adrienne Whitewood (Rongowhaakata), a young Māori designer from Rotorua who is inspired by Māori art, history and tikanga.

    by

  • Sharks on All Sides

    The current situation with the ownership of water is one which has sharks on all sides.

    by

  • Where The Bloody Hell Are You?

    Kua huri o tātou pona ki te mahanga o te ahi. Kua kaingahia o tātou taringa e te marea mo ngā kaupapa, ara a Hone Harawira e tutu ana i te puehu me ōna kōrero whakawhiu ki runga i a John Howard.

    by

  • Ngāi Tauira Kōmiti Whakahaere

    – SPONSORED – Ngā Patai: Ingoa Iwi Tō tūranga i Ngāi Tauira? (Position on NT) Ko wai tō kaiwhakaohooho?  (Who inspires you?) Ka tipu ake koe hei kanohi mō wai? (Who do you aspire to be?)   Elijah-Tyrone Pue Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi; Te Ātiawa; Ngāti Tūwharetoa Tumuaki Takirua Ko ngā tauira kua potae i tērā tau. […]

    by

  • Te Reo Rangikura a Moehau – Kuini Moehau

    Nau mai ki Te Reo Rangikura a Moehau. He reo i takea mai i nga Toi-a-Rangi, nga Toi-a-Papa.

    by

  • Māori and Pacific Architecture feature in the New Zealand Exhibition @ the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale 2014

    The Venice Architecture Biennale is the world’s architectural event, a leading forum for the exploration of architectural ideas and showcasing building design.

    by

  • He kōrero whakakapi, he mihi whakamutunga.

    “Ehara taku toa i te takitahi, engari he takitini”

    by

  • Ōku ao e rua

    Ko ahau te tamaiti tuatahi o te whānau ki te whai i te ara matauranga, ki te oti hoki i tāku kuraina i te kura tuarua.

    by

  • Blood Quantum

    I tēnei ao hurihuri, kua whanake haere ngā tuakiri o ngā tāngata o Aotearoa. Nā ngā mea rerekē pērā i te hekenga mai o ngā iwi tauiwi ki konei i puta ai ēnei momo whanaketanga.

    by

  • Te Mata Whānui o Te Moananui

    Nōku te waimarie kua tonoa ahau ki te tuhi kōrero mō tōku mata. Ehara i te mea e kī ana au, he rawe ki a au te kōrero mōku ake.

    by

  • Is it Special Treatment?

    “Whāia te mātauranga hei oranga mō koutou”
    “Seek after learning for the sake of your wellbeing”

    by

  • Whaikorero

    Whaikōrero: A woman’s place too?

    Traditionally, whaikōrero has been the domain of men. This article aims to broaden understandings about whaikōrero and the role of mana wahine within this practice, as well as reinforce the idea that Māori are a diverse people with varying opinions on gender roles.

    by

  • He Toto, He Kanohi

    He Toto, He Kanohi

    I te ao hurihuri nei, kua whakaputa ngā āhuatanga matatini o te tuakiri o te tangata. Ehara i te tika te nuinga o ngā kōrero o ināianei e pā ana ki tēnei.

    by

  • Ko Wai Au

    Ko Wai Au?

    Europeans were willing to assimilate to survive, even if it meant neglecting aspects of their heritage…however, not all Māori were and are willing to disregard features of Māoridom that have been passed down from our tūpuna.

    by

  • Waka Hourua

    Waka Hourua

    Ko te waka e kōrero nei au ko te waka hourua. Koinei rā te timatanga o mātau ngā tāngata o Te Moananui-a-Kiwa ahakoa Māori mai, Tahiti mai, Hawaiki mai, Satawal mai rānei, koianei tō tātau nei whakapapa.

    by

  • He tutaki Tipuna

    The American Museum of Natural History houses some very important pieces from the farthest corners of the world. However, the piece that was most significant to our group was the Paikea tekoteko.

    by

  • He waka eke noa: Sailing the Ship for World Youth

    It was a multicultural journey where I spent six weeks breathing, teaching, listening, dancing, learning, and so many other ‘ings’ with 240 rangatahi from 13 countries, from Japan to Peru to Egypt to Russia.

    by

  • travelling

    Travelling

    Travelling is more than going on a holiday with whānau, taking a road trip with friends, or boarding a plane to get from A to B.

    by

  • Interview With Mamari Stephens

    Co-Project Leader, Te Kaupapa Reo-a-Ture – The Legal Māori Project.

    by

  • duncan feature

    Treaty Values: A Conversation Lacking

    The Treaty of Waitangi is considered both our most important constitutional document and also the most boring part of your year of history.

    by

  • Whakatipu Te Reo

    Te Reo ki te kāinga.

    by

  • Kei Roto I Te Whare

    Indigenous and Māori housing.

    by

  • Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 2.54.32 PM

    He Kākano I Ruia Mai I Rangiātea

    Kohikohia ngā kākano, whakaritea te pārekereke, kia puāwai ngā hua.

    by

  • Matariki Ja Nai Boke!

    Are wa Subaru yo!

    by

  • Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 2.52.47 PM

    He Tuhinga Whakaaro

    Ka pēhea kia mau ai ngā āhua Māori.

    by

  • Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 2.50.46 PM

    Ka Ora Te Reo I Te Aha?

    Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori.

    by

  • Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 2.56.28 PM

    The Food Bill

    What does it mean for our communities?

    by

  • He Waka Ianei E Herea

    – SPONSORED – Rātou kua wehe atu I TE TAU KUA PAHURE, KUA TAU MAI TE KAPUA PŌURI I RUNGA I NGĀ TAUIRA, NGĀ KAIMAHI, NGĀ MĀORI O WIKITŌRIA. I NGARO ATU RĀ TE IERE O NGĀ MANU NEI, ARĀ KO ROB DOWNES, KO AUNTY PAE RĀTOU KO BOO (LINDA) PEARLESS. NEI NGĀ MAIMAI AROHA […]

    by

  • Whakaora i a tātau mahi!

    – SPONSORED – Whakakorengia te VSM! Tērā anō te mui o te mahi ki ngā pakihiwi o ngā māngai tauira Māori o te motu, rātou e whai i te ara pokepoke hei whai oranga ngā tauira ki ngā whare wānanga. Arā anō ngā tini take o te wā nei. Heoi, ehara i te mea he […]

    by

  • RANGATIRATANGA: Te Whakakoretanga o te Ture Takutai Moana

    – SPONSORED – He hua ka puta? Kua roa nei tātou ngā iwi Māori e whawhai ana mō te rangatiratanga o te whenua. E hia kē mai nei ngā whawhai kua tau ki mua i te aroaro o ngā Kooti. E hia kē ngā hīkoi mautohe i tīmata mai i ngā moka o te motu. […]

    by

  • Te Pire WAI262

    – SPONSORED – I te tau 1991 i tukuna atu tētahi kerēme ki te Te Rōpu Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi. Tokoono ngā iwi e kawe nei i tēnei take, ko Ngāti Kuri, ko Ngāti Wai, ko Te Rarawa, ko Ngāti Porou, ko Ngāti Kahungunu rātou ko Ngāti Koata. E kīa ana, kāore he […]

    by

  • Te Oranga o te Reo, te Oranga o te Iwi

    – SPONSORED – He tau anō, he Wiki anō, he mōheni anō. Ahakoa ngā tau maha kua pahure mai, ko te hiringa nui e tutū tonu ana ki ngā ngākau o te iwi Māori ko te reo. Tēnā koe e Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, te toitoi i te kaupapa o tēnei mōheni, te […]

    by

  • Opinion

  • Arts and Science

  • Blood and Guts – One Women’s First Hand Experience of a Craniotomy (A Tragi Comedy)

    Your own personal craniotomy. It seems too incredible to be true the kind of thing that would happen to somebody else? a cousin, or an old friend from high school with whom you lost touch years ago, that strange woman who used to live in the house next door to yours in Mount Albert when you were a child, the one whose double hung windows came down upon her thumbs, trapping her, until she cried out and your father went across to rescue her. Phillips, you seem to recall her name as, Mrs Phillips. You were too young to realise then the complexity of the labyrinth you were immersed in. The complex web of family relationships that surrounded you. You had never seen your father cry. You did not understand the way in which the vast majority of people have two masks. You could not comprehend public versus private: the way in which we, as humans, present one face to the world, Eleanor Rigby style, and have another private self that we keep well hidden? the Ace to be played at the last minute, the trump card, how much of life is a game of push and pull, give and take, one upmanship. You still thought the world was a kind place. You hadn’t learnt yet that nobody respects a push over, that the strong devour the weak and then sit gloating, munching on the bones, fresh blood dripping from one corner of the mouth. Like many New Zealanders, it was Janet Frame who introduced you to the horrors of mental institutions. When her biographies were released, you witnessed first hand the suburban schadenfreude? a kiwi Heart of Darkness, our very own version of the horror, the horror. You accompanied your mother when she went to visit a friend whose husband worked with your father, and the two of them sipped tea, munched biccies and gossipied about To The Is land, relieved that it was Janet who had suffered and not them. Mental illness was hush hush, taboo. Most cities of any size had their own institution, yours had Ngawatu, the remains of which still stand, the old villas and the 1920s houses where the doctors lived, the tennis court and the bowling green. They even had their own shop where they could spend their ‘pocket money’. Even the most unimaginative individual could easily picture the villas to be haunted by the ghosts of inmates past. The gardens are beautiful, well maintained even to this day by a caretaker who lives in a ramshackle house on the grounds. The rhododendrons bloom. The natives? kanuka and manuka. The flowering bulbs? jonquils, daffodils, freesias. The gardens are lovely, although I have no idea how many of the patients were allowed to roam freely and what other restrictions were imposed upon their liberties. Doctoring, like lawyering is not a business of black and white but, at the risk of sounding like the recently released Mummy porn that has been flooding the market, contains many shades of grey. Lawyers deal in ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’, although of course there is plenty of room for shark like maneuvering. Shrinks deal in ‘well’ and ‘unwell’? plenty of maneuvering in that profession too. The more cynical amongst us would call them glorified pill dispensers. What do we do when the brain goes haywire? Behaviour is analysed and then diagnosed. Major depressive disorder, bipolar, organic brain syndrome, Aspersers, ADHD, epilepsy, anxiety, PTSD, paranoia, delusions, obsessive compulsive, schizophrenia, dissociative personality disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, psychosis. The treatment is dished up? pills, the depot (an injection, typically administered fortnightly), ECT, seclusion, restraint, insulin therapy, IPC. I speak in defence of the patients somebody has to. In any setting other than a psychiatric institution, a lot of what takes place would constitute human rights abuse. Oh, I know, I know, there are the posters on the wall. Your Rights, but it’s all fairly tokenistic. Toothless. Prison might be better. At least a prison sentence has an end date and there’s always the chance that they’ll release you early on good behaviour. Or if you can stump up bail. Or get a good lawyer the vast majority of psychiatric patients will have access to neither. You can be kept in a psychiatric institution, or Mental Health Unit, indefinitely. Most of the lawyers who represent mental health patients would rather be sitting behind a swanky wooden desk, surrounded by leather bound tomes and piles and piles of files, pulling in six figure sums than scraping the bottom of the legal aid barrel. You didn’t know when you were young, about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), about ECT or insulin therapy or Monsanto? you knew nothing about Risperidone, Lamotrigine, Quetiapine, Dilantin? about the forced drugging of psychiatric patients in order to turn them into zombies who are more easily controlled although you had always been fond of horror stories. Death by doctoring. The three conditions for being sectioned remain the same? danger to self, danger to others or inability to care for self. The brain is high priced real estate. The Tokyo of the body. Private psychiatrists are represented in New Yorker cartoons, the shrinks modelling themselves on Freud, complete with couch and many a fleeing Dora. The public system is, of course, a good deal more brutal and, like the mental health lawyers who resent their colleagues who are employed in the private sector, undoubtedly, the shrinks would rather be raking in the cash running their own Sopranoes style private practices catering to the wealthy than dealing with those on benefits. Perhaps it is a grotesque generalization but the public sector has always been more Scrooge than Santa. Take, for instance, my recent craniotomy to remove a brain tumor – oligodendroglioma, grade 2 in case your granny wants to know. I was operated on at Christchurch public hospital. I had been keeping myself fit. The evening before the operation I ate a hearty meal of steak and spuds in order to make it through in one piece. I woke up in Ward 28 Neurology. Felt fine. Was seen by the neurosurgeon, the neurosurgical registrar and two or three nurses. Three days later the sutures were pulled from my head and I was discharged, left to find my own way back to Ranui house. I was driven back to my parent’s home for the night. Following a nightmare, I sleep walked into my parents’ room after the surgery, freaked them out and they arranged to have me put in the local Mental Health Unit. I attempted to abscond and was locked in seclusion, a psychiatric version of ‘The Hole’? the lights were switched on and off all night, I spent the entire time vomiting. They moved me around from room to room, or should I say ‘cell to cell’ in order to increase my sense of disorientation. The first room had nothing to see outside the window except concrete. It was a form of dungeon. A stitch proof gown was put across the air vent to stop the draft. I could smell the murder in the walls. The second room I was moved to had a plant outside the window, so at least I had some sense of where ‘outside’ was. I wondered if the water was poisoned. The nurses entered with drugs, which I ingested after some deliberation. They moved me to another room. The doctor came in with more drugs, which I took. What else could I do? Dangerous? Deadly? This is how they train you to become medication compliant. The nurses seemed more interested in checking their Facebook messages and gossiping about their latest boyfriend dramas than they did in ‘tending’ to the patients. Alright boys, out the back, out the back – was what they said before hauling me into seclusion. I coped by detaching myself, pretending it was a movie, something that was happening to somebody else. I wouldn’t go through brain surgery again – it’s ever so traumatic to have somebody else fossicking around in your frontal lobes and cingulate gyrus, especially if the after care provided is as horrendous as that which I received. Luckily for me, I had support workers arranged to help care for me in my own home and so, with the help of a lawyer, I was discharged fairly quickly, bag in medication in hand. When I was diagnosed I was given ten years to live now I’ve got six years to go. Gliomas ‘almost inevitably recur’ and ‘are almost invariably fatal’. The surgeon got most, but not all of it due to infiltration, the tendrils that have invaded my brain. Time to check off a few items on the bucket list. Time to enjoy myself. I never would have parachuted before the cancer? what’s the worst that can happen, I told myself on the way up in the plane, the chute doesn’t open and you die an instantaneous death rather than a prolonged and lingering one. Next up, paragliding…

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  • Oranges

    It smells like oranges. When you close your eyes, you’re seven years old, it’s summer and you’re back in the Coromandel. Your skin feels warm, and you can taste the Rocky Road ice cream that’s running down your chin, and it doesn’t bother you. Rachel is laughing, a wedge of orange hugging her teeth. The sand sticks to your toes, you run watching the sun dance across the water. Mum tells you to not to go out too far as you hit the water, it is cool and inviting. You like the feeling of having it run over your head as you bop up and down, the water tangles your hair. You feel like a mermaid. It makes you think of forks, Ariel combs her hair with one, now you’re hungry. You open your eyes, frowning.

    It smells like oranges. But you can smell the chemicals, and wonder how the scent of fruit is put into cleaning products. It seems like a strange thing to do, putting the smell of something that you eat, into something that if you drink it you would die. You feel hungry again and wish that you could eat. It’s cold and you wish that you had brought another layer, mum had told you to bring a jersey, but you shrugged it off.

    There’s dirt under your fingernails and you wonder how it got there, you had just washed your hands again. You go back into the bathroom, and scrub each nail carefully, holding your hands under the water. You watch as your hands turn red and the bottom of the mirror starts to fog up. Turning the tap off you dry your hands with the hand dryer. Using the paper towels to clean the mirror, soaked in three pumps of liquid soap and water; you wipe from left to right and do this for three minutes. Throwing away the paper towels, you turn the tap back on. You scrub each nail carefully, and hold your hands under the water. Drying your hands with the hand dryer, and go to turn off the lights. You hold a paper towel in your hand, and your index finger flicks the switch up, and down seven times, and then three. You use your elbows to open the door.

    You throw the paper towel in the bin at the door, and touch your nose. You sit down on the stool beside the bed this time, and touch your nose again. The sheet is creased; you stand up, and smooth it out as a woman walks in. She introduces herself as Denise; you think that this is strange. She greets you, smiling too big, her eyes watching your hands glide across the bed. She nods towards the bed, and tells you to sit down, you prefer to stand, but no, she insists. You sit, your feet dangling. You don’t like the feeling, and cross your legs. It feels like you’re a student, and she’s the teacher. She remains standing, writing notes on her clipboard, she writes with her left hand.  You can feel your movements create mountains on the sheet, you try to sit how you were when you were alone, it was smoother then.

    Denise asks about your day, you shrug, and your eyes fix to the white stain on her collar. Is it toothpaste? You feel your hands start to itch. She wants to take your vitals, she listens to your heartbeat and leans too close, her breath is in your ear as she asks you to breathe in and out deeply. She says to do it twice, but you want to do it a third time.

    You wish that you had let mum come inside now; it must be cold in the waiting room, and it always smells like old people in there. Denise is asking you questions that you’re not sure how to answer. You nod or shake your head in response, following her lead.

    It’s six thirty, Rachel would just be getting home from soccer practice, you used to be in the same club when you were younger, but you don’t play anymore. Rachel has lots of awards, fourteen in total, she won most valuable player two years in a row. Mum thinks that she might get into university on a sports scholarship, you think so too, but don’t tell her that. She doesn’t clean her cleats when she gets home, she leaves them on the floor in the bathroom that you both share. Mum tells you not to clean them because Rachel should learn how to look after herself. But you don’t like the look of the brown and patches of green on top of the orange, you don’t like the contrast to the white floor.

    You and Rachel don’t talk much anymore, your conversations held in grunts. She calls you a freak, and her friends laugh at you, sometimes they touch their noses or mime washing their hands, and they laugh at you, and they laugh and they laugh.

    Mum tells you not to pay attention to them, or to Rachel. That it’s just a thing you go through when you grow up. You decide that you don’t want to be fifteen, or seventeen either, she was okay when she was sixteen. You decided that you will just be fourteen and sixteen twice, that it’s nicer that way.

    You’re fourteen now, (for the first time), and mum has been giving you the talks about how your body changes. You knew this already, health class had explained this all last year. But you’re confused: they tell you how your body changes, and that your hormones race out of control, and that you begin to think about boys differently. But they don’t tell you why you like certain numbers, and why you don’t like dirt. You thought it was a phase of puberty, but mum said you had to come here today. Actually she said last Wednesday, but that was the 17th and you had already decided that you don’t like that number.

    It started when you were eleven, just with washing your hands three times after you ate, and brushing your teeth twice. You just knew that you wanted to be clean; there was nothing wrong with that. Mum would laugh and so would Rachel, you still don’t have any fillings. But now you have to turn the lights on and off ten times, and can’t touch door handles with your bare hands.

    Mum and dad have conversations about you behind their hands, their whispers fluttering through the gaps. You don’t hear what they say, just snatches. They sometimes repeat letters but you can’t remember them, and don’t know what they stand for. When they see you, they talk with their eyes and their slumped shoulders. You didn’t mean to upset anyone.

    Denise offers you a lollypop, you say no, but she gets you one anyway. It is purple and has a smiley face on the wrapper. She asks if it’s okay for your mum to come in now, and you say yes, keeping your eyes on the lollypop. You don’t open it, it has creases in the wrapper, and you smooth it out while they talk about you.

    You interrupt them talking and say that you’re hungry, that you want oranges. Mum says not right now, and folds her arms leaning in closer to Denise. Their heads are bowed down, and they’re talking in that voice that adults put on when they’re being serious, but are trying not to look like it. You know that you’re in trouble.

    Mum says that it’s time to leave, and you get off the bed and go to smooth out the sheets again. She puts her hand on your shoulder to stop you, but Denise says something and she lets go. Mum is holding a piece of paper and a pamphlet, she tells you to thank Denise, and you leave.

    Mum is crying, but pretending that she isn’t. You both wait in the pharmacy; it smells dusty in there, even though everything is white. An old man shuffles forwards with a cane, a little boy coughs, a girl has her arm in a sling. You wonder why you’re there, you’re not sick. Mum talks to the person at the counter, and you have to wait, neither of you sit. She leaves holding white bottles with labels that have long names.

    You stop at the supermarket on the way home. Mum buys bread and milk. She doesn’t get any oranges.

    by

  • Parting at the seams

    Doors slam, plates thrown so easily shatter, a thousand fractured screams and tuffs of hair torn out in moments of pure hatred, litter the ground among the broken glass, your broken heart and my broken promises.

    I lie between the shards of your tears and the rage of your mouth. Ripped to pieces, my insides bleed the venom of yet another argument. Stupid little me, doing something else wrong, screwing something else up, ruining this amazing thing we share. I know I sound sarcastic but honestly, sincerely, I understand you are something too good to be true and if I look away for even a moment you will fade away. Like the ghosts my mother claimed to see, lingering on the corners of her vision like hitchhikers.

    Tracing my fingertips against my face I remember your touch on my throat, your hands against my face, framing the blood and the tears. Your anger is a monster, it snarls and snaps and screams. Look at it oddly and it rears up and runs its claws over your already scared face. So much easier to blame me for everything, so much easier to lash out rather than control the rage that boils acid like past your canine teeth.

    You break me into pieces because you love the challenge of attempting to fit the puzzle back together. Maybe you will create something better than the original. That is, until I rip out the stitches you so lovingly sewed. My scars are my own, I will not allow them remind me of you. You have my everything. Why can’t I have this one thing?

    I feed pieces of my heart into your mouth, allow you to take my breath because you need it more, curl close to you because you freeze at night even though your constricting grip threatens to break my bones. I flirt with danger each time you embrace me because you are too much, want too much, take too much.

    Yet I give it all willingly because I feel too much and the only way to stop this endless stream of emotion and feelings is to smother you so I won’t drown in the ever increasing pain in my gut. Maybe your love will kill me first. I’m sure it would be a less painful way to die.

    Mind you the pain is what I live for. During those times when the sun flowers and the moon weeps and I just want to stop the aching in my bones I thrive off the pain. It sharpens the dull feelings, when it hurts for you to touch me suddenly I can actually feel you. It’s like wiping the condensation off the mirror and finally seeing the world through clean, unclouded eyes. Then when you claw at my back, bite down on my throat during your ecstasy, push too far and too hard it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because the bruises and scratches are heart shaped and in my eyes, perfect and beautiful.

    And it feels so good to feel the way I do. The flowers grow and the sun shines and all that shit. And while you are holding me so tightly I can barely breath I am swimming on a high of pain that I will feel on my ribs for days to come. And somehow it was okay. It didn’t matter when you caused my pain because it was driven by lust and passion. Magic words that you believe heal injuries with butterfly kisses.  Magic words I knew fuelled my pain, made me real for those few blissful moments when you swallowed the sound of my pain and I swallowed your lust.

    I thought you got me, understood how my mind worked and how the gears in my body clicked and turned. It hurt most of all not when you swore and shouted and screamed but when you told me I was fucked and in reality you couldn’t love someone who was so stupid/irresponsible/immature/selfish/greedy/needy/pushy/emotionally damaged/emotionally distant/and in general too mentally screwed up for you to deal with. All the while I pressed my lips together locking in the vicious words that wanted to cackle and exclaim “Emotionally damaged? Wow I haven’t seen you at the meetings?”

    How did you expect it was alright to hurt me in moments of passion yet I’m not allowed to hurt myself in moments of sadness, rage, pity. Or just emptiness. So I can actually feel something other than the emptiness. So hollow that when I breathed the air rattled around the bare bones of my skeleton. I could let you believe that you broke my heart. That now when I scream the sound echoes in the empty chamber my heart use to occupy. But let’s face it, I was broken before you came along, you don’t get to wear that pin on your sleeve because you didn’t break me. That wasn’t you honour.

    And now I sit amongst your mess hoping that if I clean up all the broken glass we can just pretend none of it ever happened. That what I’ve been doing for years and I find when you squint at a broken mirror you can’t even see the cracks any more.

     

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  • INTERVIEW: Tina Makereti

    A few weeks ago, Victoria University’s creative-writing institute, the IIML, announced a new undergraduate course beginning in Trimester 2: Te Hiringa a Tui, the Māori and Pasifika Creative Writing Workshop. It is a new kind of course that encourages students “to bring their cultures with them through the workshop room door.”

    Tina Makereti, highly acclaimed novelist and non-fiction writer, is the course convenor.

    There are relatively few Māori and Pasifika students enrolled in creative-writing courses at VUW. Why do you think this is? Is there something a bit insular about university creative-writing culture?

    There could be. I guess that’s one reason to make a course like this; do Māori and Pasifika students find IIML creative-writing courses accessible? I hope that by directly addressing the question of how culture relates to writing, we open up a space for people who are interested in exploring cultural identity in Aotearoa NZ, and for people who don’t see themselves reflected in our publishing culture. And we also create another space on campus that has different cultural imperatives: where speaking different languages, different traditional creative forms, joking and political discussion can take place.

    What alerted you to the necessity of this new course?

    In my PhD, I did some of statistical analysis that revealed just how few Māori-fiction-in-English books are produced. In 2007, there were six per cent; in 2008, 1.6 per cent; in 2009, four per cent. This is well below what might be expected for our population, and I am sure Pasifika writing is similarly underrepresented.

    Victoria has lost its own Pacific and Indigenous literature papers for the time being, and I’m not sure if they will be invested in again. The loss for students is palpable to me. The loss is great for Māori and Pasifika students, but also for any student interested in literature. And how can we understand our national identity if so many of our national stories are not taught in any active way? How can we tell new stories if we don’t know what has gone before?

    I would call this a crisis, and not one I would expect us to be addressing in 2014.

    The new course will incorporate a range of forms, poetry and prose, while other IIML courses focus only on one.

    There will be a lot of freedom to experiment with form. I guess we will be approaching these questions in class: is something better expressed as a poem or an essay? Could it be both? Is it a piece of fiction or non-fiction?

    Which writers will you be reading in the class?

    Tusiata Avia, Hinemoana Baker, Sia Figiel, Patricia Grace, Epeli Hau’ofa, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Karlo Mila, Robert Sullivan, Albert Wendt and many others!

    What do you hope to achieve with your students?

    It’s about finding strength in their writing and finding the thing they can do with words that no one else can. The best outcome would be for them to go on and publish or take more courses, perhaps apply for the MA. Writing takes incredible tenacity. I hope to give them some tools for the journey.

    What do you see in the future for Māori and Pasifika creative writing at Victoria?

    I’d like to see this paper succeed, and for there to be a healthy and diverse range of cultures here and out in the publishing world.

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  • The Gay Genre

    The gay genre, different from the gay agenda, is a meta-genre of film that covers gay topics and follows gay characters. While the categorisation of people by sexuality aggravates me and is more than unnecessary (e.g. the pride in having a ‘gay friend’), there are some benefits in film from the implementation of this sexual labelling.

    Gay cinema emerged in the ‘90s, with queer directors making films from a homosexual perspective. It was a turning point, for there to finally be complex gay characters represented in film. However, with a dominating focus on gay themes, these films often remained confined to festival circuits and generated little release beyond that.

    As a target audience member, it is a great way see some of ‘my people’ getting up to some of my kind of action on the big screen. It is refreshingly different to the compulsory heterosexuality that is dominant across mainstream film. Even if the story is often a bit shit and the characters are incredibly clichéd, it’s incredibly self-affirming to see diverse and accepted love. A big plus is they are generally spot on with the aesthetics – making for some irresistible eye-candy.

    The flip side of this categorisation is the strict boxing of these films, and the potential for those who don’t identify as LGBT to avoid them altogether. If a film is broadcast as a ‘gay film’ rather than a romance, some audiences may actively avoid it or not be targeted because they are not gay. It prevents a more fluid emergence of gay characters if a film is part of the specific gay genre with less space for the ‘wacky Grindr-addicted co-worker’, or the ‘cousin who is getting married to another man’, and other possibilities that reflect the diversity of sexuality. However there are always exceptions, namely Brokeback Mountain (2005) raking in a huge amount of mainstream success.

    If there were to be no gay genre, I would want some believable stories that do not de-sex or grossly over-sex gay characters, and mainstream films that have a same-sex relationship as the central focus or supporting characters that are well rounded and impossible to attach a stereotype to.

    I want to see some love, sex, friendship and real gay experience in film. I am happy to find it in the gay genre, but how about some titillation in the blockbusters?

    Gay films

    Steamy romance:
    Weekend – Great story and ‘romance’. It would take a while to scrub that out of his chest hair.

    A Single Man – A great film that shows the difficulty of loss and love.

    Political action:
    How to Survive a Plague (2012), directed by David France

    Milk (2008), directed by Gus Van Sant

    Angst:
    Heartbeats (2010), triple threat (writes, acts AND directs) Xavier Dolan’s second film, beautiful to watch.

    Humour:
    Gayby (2012), directed by Jonathan Lisecki – the title says it all.

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  • Nightclubbing: Better than Nightclubbing [Review]

    The Grace Jones story is one marked by freneticism. After settling in New York by way of Jamaica and a brief stint in Paris, she pursued at once a modelling career, acting career and music career, proving herself appallingly adept at all three. In the modelling world especially, she blazed trails. Here was a classically beautiful model (seriously, look upon her cheekbones, ye mighty, and despair) who prefered to depict androgyny and felt more comfortable with angular, almost squarish poses than ones accentuating curves and delicacy.

    Part of Jones’ appeal, I think, is that she bases herself around contradictions. This is emphasised in her seminal album Nightclubbing. This is an album wherein, as with the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, accessibility and pop nous is used deceptively. The pretty melodies, the fierce and groovy vocal runs, disguise something more troubling in the background. There’s loneliness and unease here too; the mechanical clang of ‘Pull Up to the Bumper’, the yearning of ‘I’ve Seen that Face Before’, and the deeply disquieting ‘Art Groupie’ in particular all give the listener pause even in the midst of grooving out.

    And, lest I divert too much, groove out you can. The reissue treatment is spectacular. Though I was wary of the remastered version – after all, the slight muddiness is all part of its charm – it has clearly been done with great delicacy and fidelity to Grace Jones’ vision. Sly Dunbar and Robbie Coltrane’s work in the rhythm section is as mesmeric as ever, and Wally Badarou’s keyboards are goddamn perfect. But, fittingly, Grace Jones belongs at the centre. Her presence permeates every second of the album even when she’s not singing, and when she does – well. The vocals are impeccable and measured, whether she’s sultrily crooning or toxically bellowing, and placing them at the forefront doesn’t distract from the instrumentation but emphasises it.

    As for the bonus tracks, it’s pretty much as per: there are a couple of gems, a good one that would have been utterly incongruous with the album, and a couple of clunkers. Ultimately, it’s the nine tracks that comprise the original Nightclubbing that prove essential listening even after all these years. Nightclubbing doesn’t just capture the ‘80s but has come, in popular discourse, to help define it in all its glory, hubris and disaster. A masterwork of both easy, and uneasy, listening.

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  • Hannibal Season Two Finale [Review]

    Hannibal’s one of these shows which has been bashed recently for conforming to this new sub-genre (I suppose it’s now a sub-genre) of the detective-story archetype made more visually violent, while often protagonising a serial-killer. Which I guess began with stuff like Dexter, and has percolated through to the most recent and (in)famous True Detective. Some people are unhappy with this morbid fascination, citing the graphic violence, and making connections to the previously popular ‘gorno’ film genre, which popularity seems to have dropped off recently (see Saw, Hills Have Eyes, Hostel, etc. Don’t worry, I’m aware that many of those films were just graphic remakes, blah blah.)

    But I think what distinguishes these shows – and here I’ll actually just keep it to Hannibal for the sake of coherence – what distinguishes Hannibal, is the attention to symbolism, elegance, cinematography, deep characterisation, and other conventions you’d probably see more often in arthouse or auteur cinema than in television. Now, I really want to get into the recent surge in television as a new art form (as in, respected as art), but that’s probably another thing altogether. If we go down that road, you’re gonna start seeing gushing exclamation marks and shit, and that’ll just be a bad scene. The point is, the violence is part of the aesthetic, just as much as the other things I mentioned before. And here, the violence serves a different purpose than that of typical horror stuff.

    Season two’s been different to season one. Moving away from the familiar one-case-one-ep format, we’re now presented with multiple storylines solved over multiple episodes. Again, the overarching storyline pertains to Hannibal and his meanderings through this strange life of his. So much for context, let’s get down to business.

    Actually, first, I’d like to just say: this season was, for me, far weaker than the first. The characterisation has been a little sloppier, the murders have been a little less fun (that sounds a bit fucked up…) and I got the feeling there was just a little less direction. The fake-murder of Freddie Lounds and reappearance of Abigail kind of pissed me off. It’s the sort of sensationalism that this show should really be above. Because the sensationalism should be apparent in the murders – which are part of the essence of Hannibal – not in the plot. Plotting was solid for season one; not so sure about season two.

    And so, the finale, finally. Basically, as an episode, it delivered, mostly. Theme was forgiveness. Some lovely dialogue between Hannibal and Will. And also, some beautifully subtle and unsettling acting from Mikkelsen wherein Hannibal seemed to actually experience Will’s betrayal as one of the most emotional events of his life. That’s how I felt, watching that scene at their last supper. Seriously, you can read a lot of religious elements into this text: most obvious is Hannibal as the Devil, but there are plenty more when you start looking for them.

    What I really want to talk about, though, is the structure of the episode. Which I thought was pretty rad and really drew on the forgiveness angle, and went deeper to the pure binary elements of the show – I’m using that word because I’m pretty sure everything in this show is about binaries and balance. Everything.

    The first half sets the scene: we’re given crisp dialogue-driven scenes in which characters say their final goodbyes before going into battle.

    The second half is the action. Quite simply, and, as we, that is to say I, had hoped, Hannibal JUST FUCKING KILLS EVERYONE. I hope. I hope everyone’s dead so bad: it would be such a breath of fresh air for a television show to just kill off everyone and build again next season. Who are they going to cast as Clarice? Anyway, there’s some awesome physical violence between Jack and Hannibal. Will gets gutted, providing some nice symmetry (see season one). Abigail turns up to push Alana Bloom through a window, only to have her throat slit. Who else dies? Jack gets shanked in the neck with a piece of glass. So you see I’m being blunt with the violence, which is typically visceral.

    The soundtrack for the episode is immense to the point of absurdity. I can’t really do it justice. It might be Bach, but I suspect Google has been lying to me again. There’s also more repetition of that unsettling, percussive, metallic-clangy noise they do. Very nice.

    I realise I’ve gotten to the end of the review without having talked about anything I wanted to. Shit. Anyway, this episode was one for the purists out there: the attention to colour and soundtrack was elegant; there were murders; there was the symbolism (the deer died, I forgot to say); and Hannibal got away with it.

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  • He toto tangata, he oranga whakapapa!

    He Māori tonu ahau? Hei kai mā te hinengaro! Ka noho au i konei ka whakaaro noa e pā ana ki tēnei mea te toto, te karukaru. He mea nui te whakapapa ki a au heoi i huri aku whakaaro ki tēnei o ngā pātai ‘mā te toto e whakapae tōu Māoritanga?’ I te 22 o Haratua i ūhia ai tēnei wheako ki runga i a au me te aha anō i te mimiti haere te rere o tōku toto. Nā konā, i whakatau te tākuta me papu te toto ki roto i tōku tinana. I taua wā tonu ko te mea nui ko tōku oranga, heoi i a au e takoto rūwha nei ka toko ake te pātai nō hea te toto nei? He whakapapa tōna? Ko wai te kaituku? Me te pātai e kaikinikini nei i roto i a au anō ka noho tonu ahau hei Māori ina e rua, e toru e aha rānei ngā momo toto i roto i a au?

    Ki a au nei ĀE he Māori tonu ahau. I heke mai i ōku tīpuna, mai te kōpū o tōku māmā ki te ao marama nei, nā konei he Māori ahau. Nā taku huia kaimanawa arā, te reo Māori me āna tikanga i totoka tēnei āhuatanga ki roto i a au! Nā taku whānau, aku kāhui whakapapa, aku iwi, aku hapū me au anō e mōhio ai au he Māori ahau. Nōku te hōnore kua tipu ake i waenganui i ngā pā harakeke o te kāinga nā rātou ahau i poipoi, i manaaki, i whakatipu ake i roto i te ao Māori. Waihoki, i whakatenatena i ngā tini āhuatanga Māori kua tītī ake nei i taku manawa.

    Engari he aha rawa e pōraruraru nei tēnei mea te karukaru i aku whakaaro? Ka kaha pahupahu tātou ki a tātou anō mō te toto o te Māori me ōna whakapapa, engari kāore anō ahau ki āta whakawhānui i te aronga o te tangata Māori kua papu i te toto, kua whiwhi whēkau rānei mai i tangata kē. Ko wheako te matua o te whakaaro nui, ā, koia tāku ki ngā kaipānui – kua huri haere tōku ao ā-wairua, ā-tinana, ā-hauora hoki nei. Ā, nā whai anō kua huri hoki taku aronga e pā ana ki tēnei mea te tuku whēkau. I mua tonu i tēnei o ngā wheako ko tāku i whakaaro ai me pēhea rā e ora ai ō whēkau ki rō tangata kē? Engari nei au e whakautu ana i tērā o ngā pātai i te mea kei tērā taha o te taiapa ahau e noho  ana, ora ake nei. Nei rā taku mihi aroha me taku whakanui hoki i ngā kaituku whēkau, mei kore ake rātou e takahi tonu ana ahau i te ao marama!  Me taku whakapae anō mōhio ana ahau e kore pea au e tūtaki i ngā kaituku toto mai, heoi kua rangitāmirohia ō mātau karukaru ināianei.

    Hei whakakapi ake i aku kōrero, e ngāi Māori mā i tēnei rautau, mā te aha e Māori ai koe?

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  • Sharks on All Sides

    The current situation with the ownership of water is one which has sharks on all sides. For its part, the Crown has known full well since the 1800s that there is an issue. In recent years they have begun a campaign, starting in 2007 with the ‘Sustainable Programme of Action’ to reinforce to the general public that either “no one owns water” or that “we all own it” (via the Crown). These claims are made under the guise of trying to protect water in a time of increasing scarcity and pollution. But both of these the Crown can largely be said to be responsible for.

    From the Māori side, we also have been saying there is an issue since the 1800s. The difficulty, however, is twofold.

    Firstly, in the face of the Crown’s blatant attempts to exclude any suggestion of, or actual, Māori ownership of water, Māori groups have had to use the language of ‘ownership’ in response to claim our rights. But ownership rights are not quite an exact fit when it comes to considering traditional conceptions of rangatiratanga over waterways or of manawhenua rights surrounding land with water on it (such as lakes). Trying to describe the nuances of Māori ownership regimes over water, including through the notion of an ‘undivided entity’, is lost on the Crown and are not easily explained to non-Māori through the mass media.

    The second major issue is that some Iwi have expressed an eagerness to embrace the idea of selling water permits or profiting from selling water. And on the one hand, it’s true Māori should have the ‘right to develop’, and that means to be able to sell water like any other company or capitalist. But really! Water is not a commodity. It is a basic need – for humans and every living thing. It should not be a commodity. It should be a right.

    So when the sharks, on both sides, step out, we really need to reaffirm that water may rightfully be looked after by Māori in this country, but that ‘looking after’ should not extend to selling it. The right of ‘looking after it’ also does not and should not be traded for shares in state-owned enterprises. Those who suggest that are also after money rather than the more noble quest of looking out for the rights of all.

    So beware the sharks on all sides of this debate.

     

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  • An interview with Seung Yul Oh

    It seemed like a good idea at the time. An opportunity for an artist to talk about his work while engulfed by it. Or, rather, an opportunity to try and prove myself kooky and fun. I am neither. And trying can only lead to ruin. Or, in this case, a recording rendered inaudible by me attempting, for twenty minutes, to steady myself atop a room-sized inflatable mattress.

    I am, however, drawn to novelty. Which, funnily enough, is what Korean born, Auckland based Seung Yul Oh deals in. MOAMOA is Oh’s first major solo show at City Gallery, organised in conjunction with Dunedin Art Gallery, and features a range of work produced in the last decade. ‘Moamoa’ translated from Korean, roughly means ‘to gather together’. Oh considers the exhibition to be a collection of disparate objects in dialogue with each other, and with the space they’re located in.

    ‘I have very multidimensional practices, I started with drawings and paintings and photography, then installations and sculptures… There are quite a variety of things [in the show] that doesn’t necessarily link together. It seems like a group show.’

    The objects, however, share an undeniable interest in the bodily. A translucent PVC balloon hangs from the ceiling, bulging and squeezing around pillars and banisters, like pulled skin. Hyperrealistic bowls of ramen, three metres tall, made of glistening resin, invite at once hunger and unrest. The ongoing project The Ability to Blow Themselves Up is an example of Oh’s interest in creating works that demand a direct engagement, that invite as much as they repel – as balloons, blown up beyond capacity, explode in participants’ faces. The work also engages with a particular ephemerality consistent with Oh’s large scale sculptures. It demonstrates a body of work refuses to be still, that evolves and regenerates with each iteration:

    ‘I had an offer from both Dunedin Public Art Gallery and City Gallery to create a conjoint exhibition that would travel from one place to the other. I was really attracted to how an exhibition can fit into another space, to explore two different spaces and how they may change the same work, to reform it.’

    I asked if he came across any challenges recontextualising the exhibition in City Gallery:

    ‘Not really… It’s been well planned with the two curators… [Now] we’re installing works here with great technicians, we’re sort of figuring it out as we go and making it happen. I really like teamwork. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the help of these people.’

    This restlessness is present as much in his ethic as it is in his output, shortly after the exhibition opens, he is heading back to Korea to install two new projects, and in October he will stage a show at Auckland’s Starkwhite Gallery, ‘I really like to just carry on, and I’m curious to see what I can come up with.’

    Oh first moved to New Zealand when he was 15, a decade and a half later, his time is divided between Seoul and Auckland:

    ‘It made sense for me to go back and be amongst other Koreans and, be able to communicate and share the culture with other Korean artists, Korean friends. Korea’s becoming a lot more international too, so the dynamic is like Auckland, but there are a lot more things going on, and it’s busier, so it really helps me to solidly my thoughts and ideas by absorbing more surroundings – rediscovering, reminding myself who I am and where I’m from. But obviously it’s always nice to be here. It’s where I started.’

    Something interesting takes place in City Gallery’s promotional material for the show. They frame him, initially, as an artist succeeding in a commercial context. The show’s press release quotes an article from The Guardian, calling him ‘one of the rising stars of the Asian art market.’ He laughs when I repeat this, ‘That’s quite funny, isn’t it?’

    One of the works in the show, Periphery – made up of yellow and white inflatable pillars, metres tall – was featured in last year’s Hong Kong Art Basel:

    ‘The project was curated by Yuko Hasegawa, from Japan, the whole project was called Encounters. I treated it more as a project in a public context than an art fair. I didn’t want to think too much about the commercial, about it as a commodity. I was thinking of the fact that there would be hundreds of thousands of people. I was thinking more of what they can take from it, the experience.’

    The political potential in Oh’s work lies not in its investment in polemics. He says hasn’t until recently been interested the economic or political situation in Korea, nor here. He laughs again, and tells me he’s more interested in things that maybe ‘aren’t that important.’ Rather, it’s in the objects’ insistence on their own whimsy, the way in which they deliberately upset what an ‘art market’ is and who it exists for, their demand for an immediate, tactile response. It’s in the way works are built, torn down, and rebuilt somewhere else; pulling, squashing, in need of regular reinflation during their display period. It’s in the way things at once fit and don’t.

     

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  • Breakfast

    He had his eftpos card out before entered the café. He liked to be prepared when making a purchase. “Flat white, please.”

    “Small?” Her skin was very white and her lips were very red. Her fringe — very black — sat level with her eyebrows. The effect was that of a flag.

    He nodded. The grinder rattled, crunched and whizzed the beans. The milk steamer howled. Then, quiet.

    She said, “Time for a shave.”

    He brought his hand to his beard and looked down, as if he might be able to see his chin. He shaved once a week, on Saturday mornings, when he got itchy. One razor blade would last three months. A can of foam would last a year. On Friday nights, if he got the angle just so and pulled his skin tight and gritted his teeth, he could pluck out one of the longer whiskers using the nails of his thumb and index finger. It would usually bleed a little.

    He looked up. She was watching him. Her eyes were all colours at the same time. He slid his fingers up to his sideburn, and then to his ear, where little stiff hairs had begun to sprout out of his auditory canal. He exhaled through his nose and made a sound like a laugh. She placed the coffee on the counter. A puff of milk froth periscoped up through the drinking slot. She balanced two pieces of biscotti on the lid, arranging them artfully, carefully avoiding the froth.

    He stared at the biscotti. Two pieces? If he used them wisely, that would be all the breakfast he’d need.

    Still breathing

    Doctor Something, handshake full of tepid meat and ointment, says, How can I help? I tell him, while looking at the snap-lock spinal cord leaning against his desk, I need a new prescription. I watch the carpet, frayed at my feet through to hessian fibres; he watches his computer. Lorazepam? he asks. He makes slow circles with the mouse, says, I will give you ten. I think I am supposed to say thank you. I slip my hand, up to the wrist, through the hole in my jeans. He says, You know, instead of these, you could just have a few beers. I say, This prescription is three dollars, but a dozen beer is twenty bucks. He says, You’ve done the maths? and I say, You haven’t? His tongue pokes out between his lips, pink and wet, as he types. One keystroke per second. I use my breathing to measure time.

     

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  • Dying Thoughts

    It’s a strange thing, to watch somebody die, to contemplate the end of life.  I was present when my grandmother passed away; to me, it seemed that she had what you would call ‘a good death’ – if there is such a thing.  She came down with acute myeloid leukaemia and was taken into North Shore hospital.  The nurses kept putting needles into her to count her white blood cells.  She was never alone.  A scary thing, to die alone, with nobody to hold your hand.  My mother’s brother and his wife slept in the room with her one night, and then my father and mother would be in the room with her the next.  The rest of her grandchildren were all present, saying their goodbyes in turn.

    “It’s just such a bugger, Laura”, she said to me.

    Earlier, she had said to my sister, “It’s no fun, getting old, Nicola.”

    “The train is coming”, she murmured, shortly before gasping her final breath.

    And then….gone.  At least her spirit was.  Her body lay lifeless, doll-like in the bed and my grandfather stood in the room with her, quietly, gently weeping.  Her essence was elsewhere.  Do I believe in life after death, in an afterlife?  Have I got any faith in a spirit realm or reincarnation?  I recently had brain surgery to remove a tumour.  The name of this beast is a bit of a tongue twister – oligodendroglioma. After the surgery I thought I could hear and see a DVD of my own funeral playing.  I could hear my relatives speaking in turn.  Spooky stuff.  I’d had a small sub-acute haemorrhage; dying must have been on my mind.

    I’d like to believe I could come back as a cat, free to a good home, perhaps living with some little old lady who took good care of me.

    “I’ve had a good life,” said my grandmother, as she lay dying.

    Could I say the same of my existence?  It’s certainly had its twists and turns, its ups and downs.  Apparently, the tumour is genetic, not linked to smoking or drinking.  I still feel guilty.  I have abused my health and now I am paying the price, my body is saying ‘enough’s enough’ and throwing up its hands in despair.  Genetics and epigenetics.  Surely there were external factors which contributed to the cancer.  There’s nothing I can do about it at this point.  Too late now.  Damage done.

    I belong to the local brain injury group.  We enjoy ourselves.  We meet up for coffees, ten pin bowling and boat trips.  One man had a car fall on his head when the hoist, which was holding it up so he could examine underneath, snapped.  He gets by, but there are times when he struggles to think.  Blank spaces where thoughts should be.   What strikes me about brain injury is the randomness of it.  How sudden and strange it is to be permanently injured in some brutal way.  Strokes, haemorrhages, vehicle accidents; these are just some of the injuries that have been inflicted on members of my brain injury group.  Another guy had a large chunk of metal fly into his head when he was working down on the wharf.  Now he’s religious and wants me to join his prayer group.  My mother’s friend is praying for me too.  And who’s to say that prayers don’t work?  Maybe they do, the whispered words or thoughts spiralling upwards towards Heaven where God listens in with his right hand cupped around his ear.

    How could anybody possibly claim that dying doesn’t matter?  How could the end of life ever be thought of as insignificant?  Surely dying, inextricably intertwined with life as it is, is a major event.  My father, who is right about many things, claims that after life there’s just nothing.  Imagine that; no eyesight, no hearing, no walking, no talking, no fighting, no loving.  Nothing at all.  It’s hard to conceive of it.  Does everything in life happen for a reason or is that just a platitude to make us feel better about events when life throws us a curve ball?  How can a random whammy like a brain tumour fail to make a person depressed?  Any major medical condition strikes a blow, makes us think about our own mortality.  As Jarvis Cocker would say, ‘We can’t escape, we’re born to die’.  Born with a shelf life.  And when it’s over?  Maybe when it’s over that’s it, kaput, final curtain.

    One of the biggest lotteries in life is the family we are born into.  You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family, as they say.  For better or for worse, you are stuck with them, unless, of course, you are one of those who ends up estranged from their whanau – even then they’re still blood, thicker than water.  What family doesn’t have a rift in it?  Discord and disharmony are as much a part of life as playing the right chords, living in harmony.  They say you should never go to bed angry; I also believe that nor should a family member die with a rift in the family.  Rifts exist to be healed.  If somebody passes away you will never get the chance

    to forgive and forget, not properly.  When disaster strikes it’s a true test of character.  How we bear up in the face of potential disaster says a lot about us as people.  Do we fall to pieces or do we soldier on?  Has anybody ever written about what it’s like to die?  I don’t mean the onlookers, the people watching, but how is it to stand in the shoes of the person passing away?  Oh yes, we’ve all heard about the Great White Light and moving towards it, but is that for real, or all just hearsay?  Hard to report back from the other side, unless you believe in spirits and Ouija boards and all that jazz.  Rapping out messages from the Great Beyond, with only the talented, the ‘gifted’ able to hear you and most of the rest of the world labelling them a sham or a kook.  Maybe these notions of heaven, hell and purgatory are just inventions for humans to placate ourselves with.  To some people grief is a largely solitary affair, others grieve in groups.  Maori people often wail at funerals, giving voice to their grief rather than repressing it; letting it all hang out.  Hawaiian people practice kuwo – a form of vocal lamentation.

    Death leaves a vacant space for the people left behind, the friends and family, each of whom grieves in their own way?  They recover, they move on or, at least, they try to.  Death can be quiet and expected, like my grandmother’s, or sudden and violent, as in the case of a murder, a suicide, or plane crash.  I was fourteen when my schoolmate Cindy Mosey’s plane went down.

    She and some of her gymnastics club were flying to Wellington to take part in the national championships when the plane, flying low for sight-seeing purposes, hit a wire and went down.  Cindy was the sole survivor.  She got down in the space between seats, where your feet normally go and was spared death, was flung into the open ocean where she bobbed about for

    an hour or two before being picked up by the Cook Strait ferry and bundled to safety.  The rest of the passengers and crew perished.  A cliché I despise – whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  One of the reasons I don’t favour this expression is that there are many people who don’t become stronger through their experiences, but who are broken by them instead.  People who lay down and die.  However, maybe in Cindy’s case it was true as she went on to become three times world kite surfing champion.

    In 2015, our local MP is putting The End of Life Bill before parliament as a conscience vote.  I pray it gets passed.  What am I going to be like when my cancer hits grade 4, turns into the nasty glioblastoma multiforme, so named for its ability to take many different forms?  The alternative name for glioblastoma multiforme is the terminator.  Would you want something called The Terminator hanging out in your head?  Will it cause me to lose bladder and/or bowel control?  Will I be partially or totally paralysed, or lose my hearing and/or vision?  How easy, how neat, to be able to dispense of myself with a simple tablet or injection, rather than pass through a lot of unnecessary and undignified suffering.  Dignity, and the right to choose the manner and time of one’s death, is at the heart of the controversial End of Life debate.  Surely it’s better to give people the choice about how and when they go, rather than leaving it up to a callous god or cruel nature.  Dying has never been pretty; it’s one of the muckier sides of life.  Life is full of struggle; the struggle to earn a living, the struggle to stay healthy, the fight to the death for the right to live your life.  Should death be a struggle or more of a ‘letting go’?  And the tumour, can I learn to accept it, can I stop myself from asking ‘is it real?’ every fifteen minutes, thereby driving all the people around me crazy?  Can I come to terms with the fact that other people sometimes refer to me as disabled?

    The concept of death holds more questions than answers.  How do I feel about leaving family behind?  Will I make new friends or meet dead family on the other side?  Then there is the question of timing.  Will the man with the sickle arrive on cue, in approximately a decade, or will he wait a few more years, making me one of the long-term survivors?  Both surgeons I

    consulted said the same thing ‘I took these tumours out in the 80s and those people are still alive.’  Undoubtedly, they wanted to extend hope, but not false hope, they weren’t lying; there really are long term survivors.  There’s still the option of chemotherapy should the tumour recur.  The tumour has a special genetic co-deletion that predicts extended life and responsiveness to chemotherapy.

    No fancy funeral for me; I’ll be happy with a simple cremation.  No fancy casket – just a cardboard box.  Save costs.  No elaborate ceremony either; I’ll settle for a speech or two and maybe a song – Morrissey ‘Sing Me To Sleep’.  Why make a fuss?  I was born, I lived, I died like gazillions of people before me.  I hope that people read my books after I’m gone, but maybe that’s just vanity.  Maybe nobody will read a word and all my literary endeavours have been in vain.

    With every centimetre of brain I lose my life options begin to narrow.  I currently live in a community home as I can’t remember to turn off elements and lock doors, slotting me into the unfortunate category of ‘danger to self and others’.  I still have choices.  I went to an interview as a receptionist at a retirement home (back in the days when I still deluded myself that somebody would actually employ me.)  I didn’t get the job, but I loved the decor.  I rang them;

    they’re taking people with disabilities when they contract with the DHB in two weeks time.  I fancy moving into one of their ‘care apartments’ – a kitchen/dining area, a bedroom and a bathroom, all brand new, just opened in 2013.  You can smell the freshness.  I had lunch there (free vouchers) and joined in with the book club afterwards.  The sprightly ladies discussed what they had been reading and said they’d be glad to have some young blood in their midst.  There’d be 24 hour nursing care available.  If I sell my property that’s where I’ll be.  Doing lengths in the picturesque swimming pool, attempting to keep my cancer, my death, at bay.

    GLOSSARY

    Whanau – the Maori word for family.

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    You’ve got to fight to the death for the right to live your life.  Jarvis Cocker.

     

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  • Echolocation

    I was looking for them all day. It was windy and the sky was that kind of overcast that’s bleached white, cold white, hard to stare straight into. I was sitting by the window with a book and a cold cup of wildberry tea. I wasn’t looking out the window — it was so glaring and bright that my eyes were hypersensitive to anything interrupting the whiteness. In my peripheral vision, I saw a sudden black shape piercing the glow.

    It must have been the uppermost point of the dive. New Zealand orcas are especially known to dive deep for stingrays, unlike other species who prefer to surface feed. Their 8-metre bodies might momentarily hang at right angles to the surface of the sea.

    As soon as I’d focused on the flickering black shape it was gone. That’s when I saw a cloud of spray hovering low, dissipating on the water’s surface, marking the spot where the black shape had been. Like a person’s footprint, but almost instantaneously vanishing — an air print? A cloud print? I ran to the beach and all at once there were tall black fins cutting through the surf about a hundred yards off shore. Two, three, five, six, eight, gliding and kicking about in lazy loops and tight circles. The tallest fin looked at least a metre high, sharp and glossy like hard onyx. Little flippers belonging to two orca calves sprung up, smacked the water, and then a pair of little tail flukes flung high. I saw the stark white belly of the orca calf — a quick glimpse of the striking pattern on the underside of their bodies that looks like the badly stencilled shape of a dolphin. The harbour ferry cut its engine and hovered quietly near the pod. They didn’t seem to mind; young ones circled it playfully on their way out of the harbour, following their mothers. I wondered which one was the matriarch. Not the tallest, sharpest fin — that’s a male. The female orca’s dorsal fins are sloped in a slight hooked curve. A smaller fin with a notch at the tip led the pod out towards the narrow harbour entrance — that might be her. A queen of the southern transients.

    The wind got sharp and cold but I couldn’t leave yet. I looked at the little clouds of spray that tracked their path through the channel — each puff becoming less and less clearly defined as the orcas swum further out to Cook Strait.

    I waited until the black fins were too small to see anymore — just dark specks on the ocean’s surface. I let out a breath I didn’t know I’d been holding. My fingers were purpling from the cold.

    If I were to have put my head underwater just then I might have heard, or felt, very faint echolocation clicks and whistling calls. I wonder what it must feel like – to have a large animal feeling its way around for you, placing you in its world, with the use of underwater clicks. Echolocation is mostly used for foraging — 70% of an orca’s day is spent foraging — but also for socialising, since orcas are the extroverted social butterflies of the ocean. The pod I just saw were part of the transient species, not residents; their sense of belonging has nothing to do with where they are, but who they’re with. Bats and dolphins are the animals best equipped to echolocate, followed by cave-dwelling birds such as swiftlets and little mole-rats called shrews. The orca is by far the biggest echolocator. So, if I were to wade into the water with them only a hundred yards away, the bouncing echoes of their calls and clicks would not only tell them exactly where I am, but how big I am and how fast I’m travelling (and therefore, what kind of thing I might be). They receive the returning echo in each ear at a different time, at different levels of loudness, to pinpoint my distance and direction. With all kinds of marine mammals breaching, surfacing and echolocating in distant waters around me, they feel my presence much more keenly than I can feel them. They feel me bouncing off their skin.

    I’m glad humans can’t touch me with their echoes.

     

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  • 10:58

    It’s 10:58pm and he’s late again. You’ve spent the last hour – well, hour and 15 minutes because you like to arrive early – pulling at the edge of your coat, platting, and re-platting the fringe of your scarf, which you had to remove because you felt too hot. Your feet ache, as you bounce on and off the back of your heels and curl and uncurl your toes. Walking the same metre back and forth, gave you blisters. Black heels were classy – sophisticated, you felt, but right now they feel cheap.

    The breeze splutters past you, lifting your skirt up slightly in its travels, you don’t bother to hold it down, or flatten your hair as it tangles. Your hands are tense at your sides, your finger nails digging into your palms.

    People walk pass, you loosen your face, slightly pulling up the corners of your mouth, a few nod in your direction. Leaning against the brick wall, you rest one hand on your hip, and place your weight on your heels. You feel this looks relaxed.

    You see him walk towards you, and try not to squint. He’s walking slowly, dragging his feet. His hands in his pockets. Your throat starts to tighten. Pulling out a cigarette, you fumble with the lighter, cuffing your hand against the wind. You puff on it, feeling the chemicals swirl. Exhaling, you watch him advance through the smoke; he’s not looking at you. You flick the ash onto the ground, tapping twice. He looks behind him as he crosses the road; you stamp out your cigarette.

    The way the new tar overlaps the old, suddenly feels very interesting to you, it’s speckled with gum – patches of pink and grey, appearing warm in contrast to the dark concrete. You watch the embers of your cigarette lift in the wind, they move up and down and disappear.

    He says your name, but you don’t look up. You plant your feet, they’re itching to walk the other way. He calls your name again, his hands cupped around his mouth; he knows that you can hear him. You raise your head, and feel your arms fold across your chest. He smiles hello, his eyes locking onto yours, you feel the blue pull you in, your heartbeat feels as if it’s coming from your stomach.

    He’s close enough that you can count all of his freckles – he has seven, but you knew this anyway. His fingertips reach for yours, they’re warm, and you realize just how cold you are. He kisses you and you can feel his smile. He tastes different, maybe a little minty. His forehead rests on yours, you can feel the heat of his breath. He murmurs an apology into your cheek, his lips finding yours again. You pull him closer, your fingers tracing the curve of his jaw. The taste of him turns sour in your mouth. Lime and tequila, that’s what it is, it makes you throat burn.

    It’s past eleven, you sigh.

    Not by much babe, he slicks back his hair. Don’t make a thing out of it.

    You feel your jaw tighten, your teeth grazing your tongue. Turning away, the bus stop post captures the extent of your gaze. His hands land on your shoulders, as he moves you towards him. You push your weight into his chest, tucking your head under his collarbone.

    Not long ago you were sixteen and he was seventeen. You would sit with an unsure distance between the two of you. Both of your voices running together, maybe in fear of the falling silence, or maybe in excitement, maybe both, you couldn’t remember. He used to perch himself forward, his head resting in his hand. Sometimes you felt like he saw you as more than what you were. You thought that you were lucky finding him.

    When he first kissed you, it had been raining. He’d offered to walk you home, you had forgotten a jacket, and so had he. The rain had plastered your hair to your face – you remember feeling self-conscious about this. It had surprised you at how gentle his touch was, when he brushed your hair back. His hands shaking as he tilted up your chin. His lips were softer than you had imagined. The rain didn’t bother you after that. The two of you walked the rest of the journey home with your hands interlaced, and shy smiles directed at the ground. His hands had always felt warm.

    Your friends and family had said that the distance would be a problem. But it wasn’t like he was that far away, he was down at Wellington and you in Kapiti – an hour’s travel at the most. You got to see him a lot in the weekend, and a few times, he had even made day trips to see you during the week. Sometimes he brought flowers, and called you his one and only, you had always rolled your eyes at that, but now his sentences seemed to lack it. He made a lot of jokes now, that he didn’t expect you to understand. You would laugh with him, and he would press his lips together, he did that a lot now. He also started calling you babe, he used to call you your name or something more romantic, you didn’t like the sound of babe, it reminded you of the pig.

    Tonight you were meant to meet him for drinks at ten, he was going to introduce you to his friends. Wednesday he had said to come, Student Night, cheaper drinks. You had told your mum some story about staying at a friends and a big test – well the test part was true, but at the time, this had felt more important. You ask why he was late, speaking into his jacket. He doesn’t answer, and suggests that you both stop off at a bottle store on the way to his flat, he doesn’t want to stay in town any longer, he says that the scene is dead. You let go of him and look down at your dress, the purple seems too bright now, the lady at the store said it would be a great little number to dress up and down, to wear out and in, you guess that it’s okay going back to his flat. You still have your bag with your change of clothes, and schoolbooks, the test is during third period, you assume you’ll be fine. It was meant to be a few quiet ones.

    He doesn’t offer to take your bag as you walk, and doesn’t hold your hand. You feel your gaze fix to whatever’s in front of you, not taking in the scenery, he’s looking up at the signs above, you wonder if he’d notice if you weren’t there. The silence dominates, although everyone else seems to be abnormally loud. You become aware of your breathing, and try to make it even, but your breath seems to keep catching in your throat. Swallowing feels difficult; your throat is too dry.

    His phone vibrates and he takes it out. He’s laughing at something that someone sent him, he doesn’t show you. You feel the urge to rip his phone out of his hand and throw it across the sidewalk, as he texts back a reply.

    The last time that you saw him, he had been crying. He had said something about the stress, you had spent most of that weekend in his room, he hadn’t wanted to talk. You start to feel light headed, maybe you’ve been on your feet too long, or haven’t eaten enough today. But really you feel as if you should have a drink.

    When you arrive at the bottle store, he asks you for money towards the booze. He smiles and shrugs, I’ma poor student babe, you can’t expect me to be able to afford all of this. Last week he had brought a pair of Beats headphones. You give him a twenty, and he laughs. He holds his hand out again, and he thinks you’re joking. You wonder if he knows how much you’ve already spent today, on transport alone, as you give him another twenty. He snatches it and the guy at the counter doesn’t ask for your ID.

    He thanks you for paying, and says that maybe you’ll meet the guys some other time, when things aren’t so busy. You blink back in response, and keep blinking, hoping he’ll just think you have an eyelash in your eye. He doesn’t notice. You go to hold his hand, he brushes you off saying not now. He’s got his phone out again, texting with his free hand. He’s looking at the screen, oh babe, he says. I might go meet some guys in town for a bit. Just a few mates from uni, you wouldn’t want to meet them. I’ll meet you at the flat okay. I don’t know how long I’ll be, not long though eh. You’ll be okay with that wont you?

    He pats your hair down, you shrug, looking at your shoes, they seem to have the same effect that the concrete did earlier. He kisses you on the cheek and you say that you love him, you too he says back.

    He walks off with the box of beer that you brought, perched under his left arm, and a bag with bottles hanging over his right wrist. You don’t even consider going back to his flat as you make you way towards Fix, a two litre container of ice cream seems better company than he does.

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  • Slip Cast

    “Sometimes to create, one must first destroy.” – David, ‘Prometheus.’

    “The world is seldom what it seems; to man, who dimly sees, realities appear as dreams, and dreams realities.” – Samuel Johnson.

    ‘Slip Cast,’ at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, is an enticing and seductive introduction to the illusory world of contemporary ceramics in Aotearoa. An exhibition that goes beyond “the classic brown pot,” The Dowse’s latest offering thematically explores the functions of an ancient medium in the lives of current practitioners. These are ceramics, but not as we know them. Dividing “the white cube” into the four sections: “Organic,” “Formalism,” “Personal Narratives” and “Histories;” ‘Slip Cast’ operates as four separate – simultaneously presented exhibitions – that analyse the different roles played by ceramics in the local contemporary art scene. Belonging to the canon of medium inspired exhibitions, ‘Slip Cast’ follows the trajectory of ceramics from their clay origins, born in the womb of the earth; through to their manipulation by artists intent on deconstructing the modernist narratives surrounding their functional utility. Artworks, throughout this exhibition, act as signifiers pointing visitors to the major themes of creative destruction and illusion that are prevalent throughout the show. In essence: ‘Slip Cast’ is an ironic juxtaposition between the anarchic questioning of Greenbergian ideals and the representation of this in the most modernist of spaces – the white cube.

    A staple of the contemporary art space is the thematic exhibition. Driven by the institution and curator’s didacticism, these spaces inform us on how to look at a body of work. In ‘The Art Museum, More or Less,’ Australian Art Historian Ian Burn writes that: “In the art museum, space is assigned to particular artists, art forms, movements, national traditions. Decisions are made to exclude, segregate, disenfranchise, marginalise, affiliate, homogenise, with certain kinds of art virtually guaranteed occupation.” The thematic exhibition embodies the politics of “inclusion” and “exclusion” prevalent in the gallery spaces of today. Artworks included in these exhibitions are ones that speak to the themes being offered by the collection and those which support the argument(s) of the curator who is intent on teaching us something. It is also indicative of the educational mission of these institutions, policies that these “museums and galleries are being urged to promote.” The first major institution to be organised on an entirely thematically basis was The Tate Modern in London. Opening in 2000, this art museum, like MoMA, lauded itself as a temple to modernism by exhibiting works from 1900 onwards and forms part of the British Tate group of art museums. The Tate’s permanent collection is organized around “thematic installations devoted to the four traditional genre categories: landscape, figure, still life and history painting,” through which various narratives about the history of modern and contemporary art can be told. By organizing itself thematically, an institution like The Tate Modern is not bound by the monolithic interpretation of the international canon imposed by a chronological structuring, and thus, has the potential to tell us something new about the history of art.

    This, however, is not a democratising moment in the history of the production of the meaning of art. While a museum, like The Tate Modern, attempts to offer a different analysis of modern and contemporary art through a thematic exploration of their collection; it still holds the hegemonic power over its visitors as the disseminators of this new art history. Showcasing a body of work which according to reviewer Eleanor Hearten is “surprisingly canonical,” The Tate Modern’s institutional bias is clearly demonstrated through the presentation of this new art historical narrative – their own. Thus whether a collection is organized chronologically or thematically, the art museum cannot escape its own ideological position as they offer viewers a self-serving interpretation of art history.

    It is within this context – the history of the thematic exhibition and its exemplification in the policies of The Tate Modern – that one can begin to understand the type of methodology underpinning an exhibition like The Dowse Art Museum’s ‘Slip Cast.’ Curator Emma Budgen uses the exhibition as a means to destroy the traditional conceptions of the medium, and from their shattered remains, rebuild a series of coeval narratives that explore the function and purpose of ceramics and clay-based artworks in contemporary art. Budgen sets the tone for viewers in her introductory notes to the exhibition when she writes that: “Ceramics are back, but not the classic brown pot. New generations of artists are using clay with a new freedom, incorporating other materials heedless of the traditional art/craft divide. Slip Cast celebrates ceramics in New Zealand today, showcasing current practitioners from around the country who use clay in their work.” In this introductory paragraph it becomes evident that Slip Cast, as an exhibition, is offering its viewers an anarchic and postmodern view of the role of ceramics in today’s art world. Intent on breaking free of the tropes of the potter and the negative implications of ceramics as a craft, the exhibition’s mission seeks to update the discourses that surround these works. Discourses that focus on the versatility and amorphousness of the medium, deconstruct the hierarchical structure of art, and bring ceramics into the twenty first century.

    The disestablishment of the traditional art historical narratives of ceramics is embodied in the first of the exhibition’s four sections. Greeting viewers as they walk into the space, “Organic” presents its viewers with works that are “rambunctious and exuberant, at times pushing clay to its physical limits.” Incorporating other media such as paint and paper, the art explodes over the walls and floors of the gallery space as it represents the deconstruction and re-imagining of a medium for contemporaneous purposes. Works in this section also tend to focus on the malleability of clay in its raw state as a metaphor for the newfound fluidity of ceramics. Therefore it is no coincidence that Suji Park’s nebulous installation piece, Igigi (Park, 2014), takes centre stage in this mini exhibition. Using a variety of media from fired and unfired clay to builder’s foam, Igigi is a series of flowing sculptural forms representing various stages in the medium’s evolution from clay to ceramics. Born from the fragments of one of Park’s accidentally broken sculptures, the artist believes that using these remnants in the creation of a new piece imbues the former artwork with “new life, new narratives and new cultures.” Art critic, John Hurrell, argues that Park’s use of ceramics to establish the cyclical theme of creation, destruction and resurrection; is emblematic of the sculptor’s artistic practices when he writes that: “Her (Park’s) main preoccupations seem to be textural and surface qualities presented within the format of developing chaos.” It is unsurprising then that a work by the Auckland artist was sought out by the curator to be the pièce de résistance of this section. As an artist that actively engages in creating and recreating the discourses embodied in their art, Park is the perfect vessel through which the curator can articulate the new narratives and paths being forged by contemporary ceramics. The installing ofIgigi by Budgen is the curatorial master stroke of this exhibition.

    In the adjoining room dedicated to the exhibition’s “Histories” subsection, there are also those works which speak to the themes developed by Park’s sculptural instillation. Exhibiting artists who “use clay to connect to existing stories and beliefs,” these works all illustrate how clay has, and can be used, to narrate the stories that unite us and to explore the history of the medium itself. Upon first walking into “Histories,” visitors are confronted by a sobering reminder of the death and destruction caused by the relatively recent Canterbury Earthquakes. In the work, Untitled (Lucas, 2011), potter Cheryl Lucas uses warped black jugs and mini clay replicas of traffic cones to represent a “’munted’ Christchurch cityscape,” still devastated by the effects of these natural disasters. This depressive landscape presented by Lucas, is in a dialectic exchange with the themes of creativity and destruction offered by Park’s work. While Cheryl Lucas’ disruptive ceramic installation is representative of the destructive phase in the creative cycle, it is also imbued with the hope of the Christchurch rebuild. A work reflective of the theme of creative destruction and the dissemination of new narratives, Untitled is the perfect segue from “Organic” into “Histories.”

    “Histories” also serves to promote Slip Cast’s primary function as a thematic exploration of ceramics by using installations that outline the history of clay. Using clay to represent itself, Mel Ford’s hanging earthen installation, Time and Tide, is a semi-circular representation of the life cycle of clay. Along the continuum of Ford’s work: stones morph into clay fragments, which become fired into bricks, with the process repeated inreverse until the end of the lineal progression. These “washed up ceramic shards” are gathered by the artist on visits to local beaches and by repurposing the collected items into her artistic practise, Ford’s intention is to “create works that transcend time and place.” Using the medium to represent itself, Ford’s work also comments on the self-reflexive nature of exhibitions devoted to the thematic exploration of a medium.

    In conversation with Time and Tide, Paerau Corneal and Louise Potiki-Bryant’s video installations representing the ancient origins of clay are played via dual screens on the adjacent wall. Kiri, depicting a dance by Potiki-Bryant exploring the metaphor of clay as the earth’s skin and Kiri Wai, a performance piece illustrating the gradual evolution of clay; these works reflect the artists’ interest “…in the material qualities of clay” and “…the integrity of clay in its natural form.” It is also fascinating to witness the representation of a natural medium, like clay, through the guise of the most of contemporary of media. Similar to other works in “Histories” like Erica van Zon’s recreation of everyday objects in ceramic form, Kiri and Kiri Wai help formulate another of Slip Cast’s pervasive themes: that nothing is ever as it seems. The use of non-traditional media in the formation of works dedicated to clay is also evidence of the creation of new narratives and innovate ways of thinking about ceramics that lay the theoretical foundations of this exhibition.

    It cannot be ignored that these competing postmodern narratives communicate with each other through the most modern and hierarchical of gallery spaces – The White Cube. Pioneered by The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The White Cube reflected the modernist ideology that art should speak for itself and be free from external influence. In his classic essay “Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space,” Brian O’Doherty argues that the purpose of the ideology underpinning these new spaces is as follows: “The outside world must not come in, so windows are usually sealed off. Walls are painted white. The ceiling becomes the source of light…The art is free, as the saying used to go, ‘to take on its own life.’ Similar to the ideals embodied in religious architecture, the gallery space now becomes a place of quiet reflection where visitors are encouraged to meditate on their own thoughts. Although initially a revolutionary reinvention of the art gallery, MoMA’s innovation has become the worldwide design model of the contemporary art space. Despite appearing to its viewers as an unbiased arena, Sheikh writes that “the gallery space is not a neutral container, but a historical construct.” The author continues by stating that the imposing nature of the pristine gallery space “…not only conditions, but also overpowers the artworks themselves in its shift from placing content within a context to making the context itself the content.” By shifting the power of the exhibition from the content to the context, the exhibited works partially lose their ability to communicate the ideas imbedded within them. Given that ‘Slip Cast’ seeks to disseminate a new narrative about clay’s genre-bending “…capacity to morph into sculpture,” it is ironic that these works should be exhibited within a context which silences art and perpetuates outdated Modernist ideals. Here the exhibition does itself a disservice by appealing to the hegemonic structuring of the international gallery space which reduces the effectiveness of the exhibited works in their role as constructors of new narratives about ceramics.

    A way to have avoided this would have been to disrupt the walls with text or photographs, so that viewers are not blinded by the gallery’s piercingly bright white painted walls. Instead of writing the exhibition text on white placards and attaching them to the partitions, the text could have been printed on to the walls themselves in a terracotta colour representative of the exhibited medium. The letters in the thematic title “Organic” would have represented this section more effectively if they were printed dripping down the wall in this colour as a visual metaphor for the formless ceramics exhibited in this area. Displaying the text in this manner would highlight the “malleable, messy and downright gooey” nature of clay outlined in the exhibition’s introduction. Large-scale photographs could have also been used to make the walls recede into the background of this exhibition. Noticeably missing from ‘Slip Cast,’ photographic representations of the different stages of clay, and its use in the creative process, would have disrupted the dominant white space and furthered the thematic undercurrent of evolution that runs through the collection. As an exhibition that triumphs new ways of thinking about art, I would have liked to have seen ‘Slip Cast’ challenge the context within which it was exhibited more directly.

    The Dowse Art Museum, like any gallery, is constricted by the limitation of its internal architecture. Despite this acknowledgement, however, there are still issues with how the exhibition has been constructed. For example Bruce Denhart’s expansive installation, Red Room, “an intuitive response to the artist’s experience of ‘falling madly in love with the woman who I would later marry, my love of architecture, and sheer wonderment of this place called Aotearoa’” appears to be exhibited in the wrong section. Instead of shifting “Personal Narratives” into the space of Denhert’s work and incorporating Red Room into this subsection, the current placement of this devotional installation is thematically out of place. As a cathartic response to love, consisting of dozens of well-formed ceramic roses, the installation does not embody any of the abstract ideas proposed by its current context andwould have been better suited within the environment of the “Personal Narratives” collection.

    ‘Slip Cast’ is an exciting and thought-provoking exhibition which aims to re-orient our thinking on the form and function ofceramics in contemporary New Zealand art. A challenging collection that incorporates a variety of media (as well as ceramics): ‘Slip Cast’ presents viewers with a fluid conception of ceramics which sees works “slipping between forms and genres” throughout the gallery space. A truly thematic exploration of the medium, clay is traced throughout the exhibition from its raw, malleable state; through to its refinement in static ceramic form. Guiding visitors through this journey, the four subsections are dedicated to clay’s various incarnations in contemporary form. The exhibition, however, is not a history of the artistic manipulation of clay; but a commentary on the versatility of the medium and its ability to form and reform the artistic practises of today. The domination of The White Cube and the placement of Denhert’s installation distract our attention away from the major themes, but not in such a way that these narratives are silenced. Clay, like, Contemporary art, is always in flux. Constantly changing and amorphous, the medium produces work which typifies the art of today – tangible, yet metaphysical; diverse; and above all else: indefinable.

     

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  • Xbox One

    The benefit of writing an article on a major gaming announcement several weeks after it has been released is that murky details can be clarified, and shockwaves from drastic changes have had time to settle. That’s my excuse for waiting so long to write a piece on Microsoft’s new gaming console, the Xbox One (not severe procrastination, which is the real reason). However, given the complete about-face Microsoft has taken to some of its Digital Rights Management features, I am kinda glad I did.

    If you have been living under a gaming rock for the last little while, the annual gaming convention E3 was held from 11–13 June. This year was particularly exciting as many fans, myself included, were anticipating a first showing of the next generation of console tech. We certainly weren’t disappointed in that respect, although I’m not entirely sure that what Microsoft initially presented was actually a gaming console. My crib notes read: online connectivity at least once a day (with a preference for constant connection); a Kinect camera that can’t be turned off; limited ability to buy or sell second-hand games; and no backwards compatibility (though that was to be expected). Microsoft proudly announced all these features with an optimistic outlook on the ‘future of gaming’. To which everyone on the internet immediately responded: “Sony wins; Microsoft, you’re not invited to Christmas dinner”. By basically doing nothing besides saying they weren’t Microsoft, Sony walked away with the unofficial trophy of victory.

    Jump forward a week, and Microsoft is in the awkward position of having to announce that they are actually dropping most of their hyper-aggressive DRM measures. A much more friendly one-time internet connection per game, an assurance you can turn off the Kinect (although the government may still use it to spy on you), and freedom to buy and sell second-hand games were offered as tribute to appease the furious internet gods. The console is still locked to games from its own generation, but we can’t win all the time. Three out of four: that’s still an A-! What intrigued me most, however, is the speculation over the cause of this sudden turnaround.

    What did seem to make an impact though was the outcry from US medical institutes and the US armed forces. The day before the big 180, I read several articles and interviews from people in these fields who outlined the benefits of the Xbox 360 in comparison to the proposed Xbox One, although granted, the focus in both cases were issues over the internet-connection requirements. I get the feeling that Microsoft was terrified that it had angered the US military, and so order was restored to the Universe and once again we are left with two bland, indistinguishable consoles.

    While I may not have agreed with the plan Microsoft had, it was at least aiming for a future of gaming, as dystopian as it might have been. Instead of setting sail for an adventure into the unknown, though, both Sony and Microsoft have settled for making a console for the gaming of the present. I worry that with no one keeping an eye on where we may be able to head, these brand-new consoles may stagnate and require replacement in only a couple of years’ time. I am left to mourn the death of a console I can’t even purchase yet.

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  • Kid’n’Rei

    He mahi takirua ko Kid’n’Rei – ngā kaiwhakatangitangi Kid rāua ko C. Rei. Ko ōna ingoa tūturu, ko Tane Williams-Accra me Callum Rei McDougall.

    He takirua ‘hip-hop’ a Kid’n’Rei.

    I tipu ake rāua i Pōneke, i noho tonu rāua i reira.

    Nō Ngāti Raukawa me Ngāti Pākehā a C. Rei. Ko Ngāti Āwherika me Ngāti Pākehā ngā iwi o Kid.

    Tekau mā iwa o rāua tau.

    He tino ngākaunui rāua ki te mahi whakangahau, ahakoa te kanikani, te waiata, te whakaataata rānei.

    Inaianei, kei te ako a Kid i te ‘Stage and Screen’ ki Whitireia; koinei tana tau tuatahia. Ka ako a C. Rei ki Te Whare Wānanga o Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui. Kei te whai ia i te tohu paetahi i Te Reo Māori me Marketing; koinei tana tau tuarua.

    Ahakoa kāore rāua i ako i te pūoru i te whare wānanga, ko te pūoru te mea nui ki a rāua.

    I Āperira, ka tukua te kiriata pūoru mō ōna waiata ‘Holes in my Chucks’ i runga i YouTube. Kei te maumaharatia pai te rangi o te waiata nei. I whakaatu tēnei waiata i te wairua tākarokaro o te pūoru o Kid’n’Rei. Ko te mea nui ki a Kid’n’Rei, ko te pārekareka o te ao pūoru.

    Kātahi anō ka tuku a Kid’n’Rei i o rāua EP, Duos Dynamic. Ka taea te whiwhi i runga i te ipurangi, i ngā whārangi ipurangi ki raro, kaore he utu.

    Inaianei, i whakarite a Kid’n’Rei i tētahi pō whakangahau ki te whakanui i te tuku o te EP Duos Dynamic. Titiro ki te whārangi Pukamata o Kid’n’Rei mō ngā pānui e pa ana ki te pō whakangahau nei.

     

    Kid’n’Rei is a collaboration project between rappers Kid and C. Rei, who is also the producer.

    They describe their sound as a light, fresh, localised brand of hip-hop, clearly showing their background and influences.

    Download Kid’n’Rei’s free EP from any of the following sites:

    – Facebook.com/kidnrei

    – Kidnrei.bandcamp.com

    – Youtube.com/kidxrei

    – Soundcloud.com/kidnrei]

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  • White Lies

    I ahu mai te kōrero nei I te pukapuka nā Witi Ihimaera, arā ko Medicine Woman. Heoi, he whakaaro tēnei mō te āhua o te kiriata I hangaia e Dana Rotberg. Ko tēnei kiriata he kōrero pūrakau o te wā o nehe. Ka timata ki te āhua o te tohunga rātou ko tōna whānau, ko tana mokopuna hoki. Kātahi ka tae mai te hoia tauiwi, whakamate I te whānau, patu I te mokopuna.

    I tana pakeketanga ka whakaarihia te mokopuna e Whirimako Black, ko Paraiti tana ingoa. He tohunga a Paraiti e mahi ana I ngā rākau o te ngahere hei rongoā mo ngā whānau Māori. I tērā wā tonu, I aukatingia ngā mahi a te tohunga e te Kāwana, engari, I whakamaua ngā tikanga e Paraiti. Ka rawe te mahi a Whirimako ki te whakaatu i te āhua o Paraiti. He wahine pakari, he wahine toa.

    Nā tana mahi, ka tonoa a Paraiti e te wahine Māori kia awhi atu i tētahi wahine kiritea. Ko taua Māori, a Maraea, i whakaarihia e Rachel House. Ko tōna rangatira, a Rebecca, i whakaarihia e Antonia Prebble. Kāore a Maraea e kōrero Māori ahakoa he māramatanga tōna. Hei tāna, he pai ake te ao Pākehā i te ao Māori. Ko Rebecca te wahine o tētahi rangatira Pākehā, e kore e pai ana ki te iwi Māori.

    Ka rawe hoki ko enei wahine tokotoru. Ko rātou hoki ngā tino kaiwhakaari o te kiriata. I ētahi wā, ka kōtiti haere te kōrero ki wāhi kē, e kore e mārama ai. Engari, nā ngā pūkenga o ngā kaiwhakaari ka mau tonu te hunga mātaki. Anō hoki, he papai te whakaputanga. Ka mārama ngā whakaaro o te kōrero, hei aha ngā kaupapa rīraparapa. Ko tētahi āhua o te kiriata, he nui ngā whakaaro Māori o roto anō nei he kiriata mō te Māori. Ki a rātou e noho kūare ki ngā mahi a te Māori, ka ngaro ngā tino tikanga o te kōrero. Hei tauira, i tētahi wāhanga ka takahia te whenua o te pēpi e te Pākehā. Ki tā te Māori he mahi kino tēnei engari ki tā te hunga kūare he whakaaro anō tōna. Nō reira, ka noho te kaimātaki ki tana māramatanga ake.

    E whakaatu tonu ana tēnei kiriata ki ngā whare pikitia puta noa i Pōneke. I ētahi wā, he reo Māori te reo i whakahua. Heoi, he reo pākehā ngā kupu hauraro nō reira he pai tēnei mā rātou e kore e kōrero Māori.

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  • A Storm of Swords Pt I & Pt II

    (Spoilers Beware)

    I consider myself an avid watcher of Game of Thrones. But it wasn’t until I finished watching season 3 and the horror that was the Red Wedding that I also became an avid reader of it. I wasn’t going to wait nine months for the next season to start, so I got stuck in to the books. The first season was largely identical to the first book, with only very small, unimportant differences, such as the colour of someone’s eyes or the length of their hair. What the book did do, however, was get inside the characters’ heads the way only a book can, and it really enforced the feelings I had for particular characters, such as my hatred for Joffrey. So upon finishing the first book, I expected much of the same from the books that followed. I was to be very mistaken. Though there was much of the second season present, there were also parts of the third and a few parts that I either didn’t recall or were new facts, plots or characters, with the latter of the three becoming more prevalent throughout A Storm of Swords, which is in two parts. Now, about three-and-a-half weeks later, I am halfway through the fourth book, everything is completely new and I keep finding myself awake rather late, unable to put down the books. They are extremely well written, although the details of the colour of the doublet one particular character might be wearing has become a little tedious. As the books have progressed, I have found that the television series has not stayed as true to the story as it had in book one. Some of it I have been able to look over, such as Jojen and Meera Reed becoming Bran’s friends at Winterfell rather than on the road after their escape. Some of it has been baffling, Robb’s wife being a great example. In the series, her name is Talisa of the free city of Volantis; however, this character doesn’t even exist in the books. Robb marries a young girl called Jeyne Westerling and she doesn’t die at the Red Wedding, which makes me wonder where they are taking that storyline. And some of the differences have been necessary, like keeping Barristan the Bold’s identity from the reader until midway through the fourth book. This would have been much harder to conceal for a long period of time on the show. With about 300 pages to go of book four, I am quite excited to see what happens next. In true GoT fashion, more of the main characters have been killed off, and like good books do, secrets have been spilled that have been kept hidden from the television viewers. But I’m not going to spoil everything for you. I will tell you one last thing…

    Winter is (still) coming.

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  • Young and Hungry – Festival of New Theatre

    The Young and Hungry Festival is an annual event which sees 15- to 25-year-olds take to BATS with three new one-hour works by local playwrights. The production teams are mentored by industry professionals and accomplished directors, with the aim of nurturing young talent in all areas of play-creation. As seems to be tradition, one play’s great, one’s not great, and one is okay.

    Dragonlore, by Nic Sampson, directed by Richard Dey, is an absolute delight. The set by Lauren Stewart is creative and functional, as is Charlotte Pleasants’ lighting design. Some of the initial dialogue was hard to catch, but what unfolds is a hilarious romp with some (mostly) endearing geeks and an outsider in the world of ‘larping’ (Live Action Role-Playing). The script is tight and manages to explain all that the audience needs to know about this branch of underground entertainment, and is very funny. The excellent cast serve the script well, and combine Sampson’s clever dialogue with their expert comic timing. The plot climax is a little bizarre, but that is the only time I feared that Dragonlore might be running away on itself. Well written, directed, designed and acted.

    Atlas/Mountains/Dead Butterflies, by Joseph Harper, directed by Ralph Upton, can take pride in its clever direction and the enthusiasm of its cast. Yet the plot is hard to grasp and nothing really seems to happen in the two worlds that we have onstage: that of Rhys (Aaron Pyke) and Phoebe (Isobel MacKinnon), and Atlas (Ryan Knighton). Atlas’s story was intriguing and beautifully rendered. The other characters present a quirky mêlée of ideas and issues around saving Earth, national pride, and being a student, but it has no flow or resolution, and it is hard to invest in the lives of these at-times annoying characters. Ash James and Michael Hebenton are wonderful as the dripping taps, and bring a much-needed sense of delight to a play that has very high aims but whose script struggles to execute them.

    Trashbag, by Georgina Titheridge, directed by Alison Walls, is entertaining yet chaotic. It is fun, but it is a tired concept, especially to us university students (and to Titheridge whose previous Young and Hungry piece, Sit On It, was a hilarious take on a nightclub bathroom). The classy set and soundtrack are about the only clues we get as to time and place of the party—the relationships between some of the characters and their ages were hard to decipher. There is little character development, and I was left with a mental list of questions about their circumstances. However, Maddy (Georgia Pringle), Otto (Matthew Crooymans) and Eric (Christopher Watts) push the play forward, and we manage to get quite a few laughs at the other characters’ expense. There are macarons, a bra, sexy moves, and lycra (on a dude)—something for everyone.

    Young and Hungry Festival of New Theatre at Bats—Out of Site, cnr Cuba and Dixon Streets, until 10 August.

    Dragonlore by Nic Sampson, directed by Richard Dey, 6.30 pm.

    Atlas/Mountains/Dead Butterflies by Joseph Harper, directed by Ralph Upton, 8 pm.

    Trashbag by Georgina Titheridge directed by Alison Walls, 9.30 pm.

    Tickets: $18/students $14, or all three plays $45/students $36. www.bats.co.nz, email book@bats.co.nz, or call (04) 802 4176.

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  • Sydney Bridge Upside Down

    “Kei te tōpito o te ao e noho ana tētahi koroua me tōna hoiho, a Sydney Bridge Upside Down. He nawe te mata o te koroua, he hōtoa te haere a tōna hoiho. Nā, ka timata te kōrero ki te koroua me tana hoiho nā te mea i kitea ai ngā mahi kino i taua wā raumati.” (He wāhanga o te pukapuka)

    Ka pēnei te āhua o tēnei whakaari. He pōuri, he pōtango.

    I ahu mai te kōrero i te pukapuka Sydney Bridge Upside Down nā David Ballentyne. I tuhia te pukapuka i te tau 1968 engari ehara te kōrero i tētahi kōrero rongonui nō Aotearoa. Nā James Ashcroft o te kamupene whakaari, Takirua, te kōrero i whakawhiti ki te taumata o te ao whakaari.

    Nā ngā whakaaro o tētahi tama tēnei kōrero. E whakaatu ana te kōrero i te āhua o tana hinengaro anō nei he matapihi ki ana kare-āroto. E noho ana te tama ki te taha o tōna matua rāua ko tana teina ki Calliope Bay. Kei taua tāone he wheketori patu kararehe i waihotia hei whare whakahapa. Kei taua whare ngā kōrero muna o te tāone, ngā mahi tūkino o te tama.

    He tino pai te whakaputanga me ngā pūkenga o ngā kaiwhakaari. I te āhua o te pukapuka he ngāwari ngā kupu engari he hohonu ngā whakaaro. Heoi, he mahinga auaha te whakaari nō reira he nui ngā momo mahi hei whakaaturanga mā te kaimātaki. E whakamahia ana te mahi kōpuratanga, he waiata, he kanikani, he mahi whakakata i te tangata, he mahi whakamataku i te tangata, he aha atu. He kaha ngā kaiwhakaari ki te whakaatu i te āhua o te wā me te wāhi.

    Ehara i te mea mā te hunga Aotearoa anake tēnei whakaari. Ka mārama ai ngā kaupapa o te kōrero ahakoa kāore te kaimātaki e tino kapo i ngā tikanga o ētahi wāhanga. Ehara tēnei whakaari i te whakaari pai mā ngā tamariki. He kirikau te tangata i ētahi wāhanga, e pōkē ana ētahi o ngā kaupapa. Kua kātia te whakaari i Pōneke engari ka whakatū anō ki Tāmaki hei te rā 7 ki te rā 11 o Ākuhata. He rerekē hoki tēnei whakaari i ētahi atu o Takirua. Heoi, he nui ngā whakaari o Takirua e whakaata ana ki Pōneke. He kamupene whakaari Māori rātou e whakaata ana i ngā kōrero o te iwi. Kei tā rātou pae tukutuku ngā mahinga o te kamupene.

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  • The Meeting Place

    To begin bluntly, reading this book is like swimming through porridge. The history it deals with—race relations in New Zealand to 1840—is fascinating, but has already been well-explored by better historians. As the publisher’s blurb says with quiet irony, O’Malley is engaged in an ‘exciting new re-interpretation’ of the era. The exciting new interpretation follows quite closely the theoretical frameworks developed by Richard White, which explore the ‘middle ground’ of mutual reliance which forces cultures to change one another into new forms. These theories are developed by reference to the Great Lakes region of America, which are at best only partially applicable to New Zealand

    It should have been obvious that there were a number of factors in the Great Lakes that simply do not apply to New Zealand. A group of islands dominated by British sea power, with every interaction a couple of week’s sail from Port Jackson, is very different from a remote frontier between rival empires. A missionary in those forests was cut off from everything and everyone; in Northland, the brig Alligator was just a couple of weeks away, and the coast was busy with whaling and trading ships.

    The prose is syntactically warped and comma- strewn; the quotes appear in other books. It’s just soul-destroying sub-clauses, one after the other, with no art or thought into how they’re placed, for two hundred and eighty four pages. And then there are little typographical errors, like saying Tasman’s diary was from 1842, and meaningless placements of words like ‘subsequent’ and ‘especially’ and phrases like “among the primary objectives” and “for the most part”. Clichés forest the page, and after about ten pages of reading these the air around you seems to turn grey. This is a book that can make missionaries like Yate, with his fifty-plus male lovers, or Kendall, probably the only missionary anywhere to be almost converted by his flock, seem dull.

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  • Meeting Bully Boy, Lee Hirsch

    Earlier this year, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was revealed to have bullied fellow students during his time at the elite Cranbrook School, allegedly targeting one student because of his “nonconformity and presumed homosexuality”. Romney dismissed the behaviour as japes—”I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school,” he told Fox News Radio, “and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologise.”

    For Bully director Lee Hirsch, this wasn’t enough.

    “I was really upset,” Hirsch explains, two hours before he is scheduled to talk to a cinema full of New Zealanders about his hard- hitting documentary on the bullying problem in American schools. “The whole country’s moving in a direction where they’re saying ‘kids will be kids’ isn’t the right response, this is serious, this is worth our time, this is worth our best minds, our best thoughts to come up with solutions, and then you have someone that’s standing to lead the country who just didn’t get it. I don’t think anyone was unprepared to forgive him. Just not under that kind of apology.”

    Hirsch has spent much of his career documenting people who have been fighting against those who ‘just don’t get it’. His first feature documentary, Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony, covered the role of South African musicians in the struggle against apartheid. The film was incredibly well-received, winning the prestigious Audience Award for Best Documentary at Sundance. Hirsch doesn’t see a significant difference between that and the subject of bullying, however. “They both deal with what would make people care about someone that’s oppressed,” he explains. “What got me so interested in South Africa in the first place, and so compelled to do [Bully], was feeling like there was a connection. With bullying,I thought there was just such a necessity to make a film, because no-one had captured that and given voice to what generations of kids and adults together had gone through.”

    Bully has gone on to screen in schools, communities and film festivals across the globe, sparking international discussion about how to resolve a problem that harms millions of students every year. But while Bully is designed to prompt communities to create solutions, Hirsch was careful not to lecture the audience. “[The movie] doesn’t say ‘this is what your change looks like,’” he says. “It doesn’t prescribe. It just inspires…We get ideas, but we don’t say ‘therefore you must do x, therefore you must care.’”

    Ideas have come from the most unexpected of places. One surprising supporter is the Sioux City school district, whose East Middle School is depicted in Bully in a particularly unflattering light (documentary subject Alex, a 12-year-old boy with Aspergers, attends the school).”This has been a really big thing in their community. Really big,” Hirsch emphasises. “We had a screening in a theatre like this [the Embassy] which holds 1800 people—it was a pre-screening, before the movie was ever released – and we thought 300 people would come and 1600 people came.”

    Among the attendees was East Middle School’s vice-principal, who is shown cajoling a bullied student into shaking hands with his bully (“he’s apologising,” she stresses to the victim) and, later, dismissing the concerns of Alex’s parents about the bullying he suffers on his bus. “She was brave; she’d already seen the film,” Hirsch says. “She stood up and she apologised to her community. I think that they’ve done a lot of soul-searching as a result.”

    Hirsch has also seen surprising responses to the story of Kelby, a 16-year-old lesbian girl victimised by adults and teens alike in her conservative hometown of Tuttle, Oklahoma. “We’ve worked in some really conservative communities and we’ve brought in some conservative leaders and politicians […] and they’ve been moved by Kelby and her family,” Hirsch says. He hopes to one day take the film to Kelby’s hometown. “We’ll see what happens. I mean, it’s a journey. But I do think we’ve seen really great allies come from unexpected places. Like, right now we’re working with the Mormon Church. It’s a miracle.”

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  • Iwi: The Band And The Music

    Keelan Ransfield and Kimo Winiata (lead vocals, composers), Manawahine & Johanna Tango (vocals), John ‘Bones’ Grace (bass), Chris ‘Rasta’ Wilson(rhythm and lead guitar).

    Nō te tau 1996 ka whānau te roopu nei a IWI. Ko tōnā pūtake he whakanui i te reo Māori me ngā kaupapa o te ao Māori. Ko Kimo Winiata rāua ko Keelan Ransfield ngā kānohi me ngā reo matua o IWI. Ko rāua anō hoki ngā kai tito i te rahinga o ngā waiata e waiatahia ana e IWI. I tupu ake rāua i raro i te kaupapa Whakatupuranga Rua Mano, he kaupapa whakaora reo whakaora tikanga anō hoki tēnei. Nā tēnei kaupapa te take e ngākaunui ana te tokorua nei ki te tito waiata ki roto ki tō rāua reo Māori.

    Ko tā rātou kōpae tuatahi ka tapa ko IWI, ā, i mau i a rātou he tohu waiata e kiia nei ko te Tui Music Award i te tau 1999/2000. He waiata pakanga ki te Kāwanatanga he waiata whakanui i ngā ātua Māori me ngā rangatahi Māori hoki ka rāngona ki taua kōpae rā. Ka pau ngā tau tekau mā rua nei ka rewa mai anō he kōpae hou e whakahuatia ana ko ‘Te Kawa Tuarua’. He kōpae reo Māori tēnei i tautokonā e Te Māngai Pāho hei whakarongotanga mā te marea. Kua hou mai ngā tangata rongonui pēnei i a Horomona Horo rāua ko Warren Maxwell ki te whakarangatira i ngā waiata kei te kōpae nei. Ko te ia o te tangi o te kōpae tuarua e rite tonu ana ki te mea tuatahi i puta ake i mua rā, ā, kāore e kore ka pai tērā tūāhuatanga ki ōnā kaitautoko e rata ana ki ērā waiata i rewa i te roopu rā i te wā i ngāhau tuatahi rātou ki te motu.

    Ko te whāinga matua o IWI mo te tau 2012, ā, haere tonu ana, e rite tonu ana, arā he whakanui i te reo Māori me ngā kaupapa o te ao Māori nei. Hēoi, ko te tino āwhero nui kia rongo whānuitia ngā waiata Māori ki runga ki ngā reo irirangi o te motu, kaua noaiho mā ngā reo irirangi Māori anakē, kia rongo te motu i ngā ataahuatanga i te reka i te kōunga hoki o te reo Māori.

    THE SECOND ALBUM: TE KAWA TUARUA

    The new album follows in the similar footsteps of the original by replicating the flows of RnB, Reggae and Hip hop. Strong waiata on the album include ‘E ara e’, a song asking the gods to play a guiding role in our life. ‘E ara e’ has a roots reggae feel which features Warren Maxwell (Trinity Roots/ Songs from the inside) executing a deadly sax lead. ‘He kitenga’ delves in to the beauties within whakatauki/rarangi korero. The song has an extremely hooky RnB swing with strong vocals from the crew. ‘Takahia’ is an up-tempo jam featuring DJ Gooda on the decks which encourages people to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Gooda also cuts it up in the song ‘Whiua’ which is a strong rhythmic waiata about shaking that kumu! IWI also ventured into the blues genre with a Stevie Ray Vaughn flavour waiata called ‘E whatu ake’ naming all marae of Ngati Raukawa, Another new area of music genre, which widens the bands appeal, is the alternative pop number ‘Kua rite au nei’ that smacks of a 80’s pop feel with a 2012 twist.

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  • Review – West End Girls

    Written by Ken Duncum, directed by David O’Donnell

    I knew nothing of Barbara Tate walking into West End Girls, which may be considered something of a handicap when it comes to casting a critical eye over a theatrical adaptation of her memoirs. My participation as audience member, at least, was not hindered by ignorance. West End Girls does not strenuously biographise but rather deftly moulds its source material into an enjoyable tale of unlikely companionship. The result is a fun night out which brings a world of intrigue to vibrant, dazzling life by virtue of accessible and immediately familiar characters.

    To frame the story, Ken Duncum redeploys the technique found in his previous adaptation, The Great Gatsby: upon revisiting the location of significant events in their past, an aged protagonist falls into deep reminiscence, prompting a journey down the annals of time to revisit their younger self and a wildly different world. This time, our protagonist is artist and writer Barbara Tate, played dexterously and with charm by the very talented Victoria Abbot (keep an eye on her). Her younger self is Babs, maid to Mae, “The Queen of Soho”, and the world is the colourful interior of London’s sex industry in the 1940s. What ensues is a familiar story: a worldly mentor takes in a naive out-of- towner, whose innocence is weathered by a new world of excitement and danger, but whose impenetrable virtue eventually provides a lesson for the mentor. Duncum’s use of near-archetypal characters and story means that unfamiliarity with biographical details provides no hindrance to enjoyment; the principle characters of Babs and Mae make an immediate and likable impression, and their story may as well have no referents outside of the theatre. Whether the writing here is an over-simplification will have to be for devotees of the historical Barbara Tate, and readers of her book, to decide (and I wonder if British audiences will be more discerning in this sense).

    The writer/director pairing of Ken Duncum and David O’Donnell, which encountered some speed-bumps in Gatsby, reaches a kind of symbiotic apotheosis here. The impeccably constructed but somewhat plain script is invigorated by the barefaced theatricality of O’Donnell’s direction. O’Donnell is a sucker for overtly theatrical devices (solar-powered show, anyone?) and here he lays them on thick. The primary action is constantly accompanied by foley sounds provided by the cast, often to hilarious effect—the death-cries of pubic crabs and the fap-fapping of a waste-paper basket brimming with used condoms are particular highlights. Mae’s business transactions are treated with a vaudevillian absurdity, complete with cartoonish thrusting and till sound-effects, and the rotation of a typical workday presents a veritable carousel of endearing London characters. The cast delights in the kind of school-boy humour on display here, the result being that West End Girls doesn’t hide any of the necessary details, whilst avoiding overdramatisation, sentimentalization and, thankfully, moralisation of the subject matter. Cleverly, these conventions aren’t just used as jokes, but provide poignant layering as the story delves into the shadier sides of Mae’s life.

    Jessica Robinson as Mae is magnetic, presenting a mixture of wit and cavalier attitude that is the very stuff of great maverick heroes. The remaining cast inhabit more characters than can be recorded here, but all do great ensemble work, and can be credited with endowing this production with the vibrancy for which it is memorable. Paul Waggott is a standout, milking humour and charm from a number of minor roles, including a French anthropomorphic easel.

    The second half is markedly lacking compared to the first. As the directorial gloss loses its novelty, the play shows itself to be slightly lacking in emotional substance. The dangers associated with Mae’s desperate attachment to work, money and her usurious partner, Tony (Gavin Rutherford) are not quite made harrowing enough to give Bab’s departure the sense of sacrifice it deserves. There is a wonderful moment where Bab’s easel, giving voice to her anxieties about artistic expression, adopts the metaphor of losing one’s virginity. Considering the show’s presentation of a normalised view of prostitution, the transference of anxieties about sexual taboo into the context of artistic endeavour is very clever. The show, I think, needs more of this stuff, and it could probably afford to ease off on the theatrical gadgetry to allow the actors a chance to more fully explore the deterioration of Babs and Mae’s relationship.

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  • Peripheral Relations: Marcel Duchamp and New Zealand

    There is very little in life that a giant fibreglass seal balancing a stool and a bicycle wheel on its nose can’t make better. The new exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery is grounded in discussing the influence of Marcel Duchamp’s work and theories on New Zealand artists throughout the second half of the 20th century, a dense theoretical topic at the best of times. But this exhibit is so much more than a wordy exploration of a less discussed sphere of our art history; it is also unashamedly joyous and mad.

    The curatorial theme binding this exhibition together is the influence of Marcel Duchamp on three generations of New Zealand artists. Curator Marcus Moore has been working in this subject area for years, a form of it providing the subject for his PhD study, and his expertise shines through in the clear and concise way in which this exhibit communicates theory and captivates the eye.

    The exhibition challenges the notion that New Zealand artists were behind the ball in the engaging with global artistic trends, and instead makes a case for a unique interpretation of those themes grounded in the notion that as a nation we are on the periphery of the world. I’ll admit that some theoretical aspects of this exhibit still eludes me, some works leaving me completely baffled. However, I don’t think that that in itself is such a bad thing. I’m still thinking about those works, still considering what they are trying to say and how they are communicating it. These works have stayed with me on a mental level, but even without that aspect this exhibition is extremely striking and elegant visually.

    The white-walled gallery space has been transformed into a madcap world of colour, light and movement which turns a visit to the space into a strange multi-sensory experience. Behind a closed door down a dark corridor is a surreal bright colourscape which feels like a dream sequence out of the first half of The Shining. As if this sensory slap in the face wasn’t enough I soon noticed two small spyholes fitted into a locked door. Staring through them magical vistas unfold, other worlds tantalisingly close, yet unreachable. This work by Giovanni Intra sums up the experience of visiting Peripheral Relations. There is plenty to discuss and analyse if desired, but the visual journey itself is captivating all on its own.

    The ideas of the art as the readymade, and the re-contextualisation of an object to see what result is created, are elucidated by a work by Julia Morison called Relics. This piece consists of a deft arrangement of small boxes containing what appears to be cement. What it is in reality is liquefaction that the artist collected while cleaning up her property immediately after the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury.

    This work brings the theory being discussed in the exhibition to a raw and emotional head. It affirms more than any other work in the gallery that New Zealand has not been left behind in the international discussion; rather we are using the conversation in our own way to reference our national context in its victories and its disasters.

    This exhibition is wonderful, zany and profoundly odd. Whether you want to delve into the theory or you simply want to see a full yacht inside a building, you should definitely pop in to the Adam at some point for a wander.

    Even if just to be cheered up by the seal.

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  • Whiti—Toni Huata

    Music

    Mā ngā waiata o te manu tīoriori, a Toni Huata, e whiti ana ngā rā o te wiki o te reo Māori i tēnei tau.

    A te Rātapu nei he rā whakahirahira mō tēnei wahine o Ngāti Kahungunu me Rongowhakaata, i te mea ka tuku atu tōna kōpae waiata tuatoru ki te rohe. Ka orua tēnei whakangahau me Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.

    Mai i ngā karapu pā auahi o Rānana, ki ngā ahurei pūoro o ūropi, ka hoki mai te Kōkā ki Te Whanganui-ā-Tara, ki Te Papa Tongarewa hei tuku i tōna kōpae – Whiti – ki Aotearoa.

    Ko Te Papa hoki te wāhi i tuku a Kōkā Toni i tōna kōpae waiata tuatahi – Te Māori E – i ngā tau e iwa kua pahure.

    Nā te kaha o tēnei Kōkā ki te tū māia ki runga i te atamira waiata, te whakamahana me te hōhonu o tōna reo waiata i āhei ia ki te tū māia ki Aotearoa, ki tāwāhi hoki. Ko te whakangahau mō tōna kōpae tētahi o ngā mea whakamutunga hei oti i Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, ā, ko tēnei wiki tēnā.

    Ko te tikanga o Whiti, hei tiaho, hei kawe atu te kaiwhakarongo ki runga. “Ko tōku tūmanako mō Whiti, ka hikia i ngā kaiwhakarongo ki runga,” tā Kōkā Toni kī mō tōna kōpae.

    Heoi, e kore e riro mā Kōkā Toni noa iho e hari i a koe ki runga i tēnei haerenga pūoro. I te hanga o tēnei kōpae, ka mahi ngātahi ia ki ētahi o ngā tohunga o te ao pūoro Māori. Arā, ko Maaka McGregor e whakaaria i te hanga o Whiti. Nā Gareth Farr i tuku a tōna reo ki te waiata “Taku Tamaiti e” – ko tēnei waiata hoki te hiringa o Whiti. Nā Charles Royal i tito i te waiata “Koa”. Tino āhuareka a Kōkā Toni i te pātai a Te Taite Cooper ki a ia hei waiata i te tino waiata o ngā pūoro Māori a “Te Hokinga Mai”. E rua tekau ngā tau i mua ka tuku atu tēnei waiata ki te rohe. Tautokohia mā runga rakuraku a Karl Teariki mō taua waiata, mō te waiata Soul True hoki. Nā Hira Huata hoki i tautokohia i te Kōkā hei whakanui i te reo o tō rāua whānau o Ngāti Kahungunu.

    Ka tau te whakangahau mō te tukunga i tēnei kōpae o Whiti ki te taumata tuawhā o Te Papa, arā, ki te marae, a te Rātapu, te tuatahi o Here-turi-kōkā, a te rua hāora i te ahiahi. Ka taea ki te hoko i te kōpae Whiti huri noa i te motu mai i te rā tuarua o Here-turi-kōkā.

    Kaiwaiata: Toni Huata
    Kōpae pūoro: Whiti

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  • This is my story—Susan Rose

    Music

    Tērā pea ka maumahara koe i tēnei manu tīoriori mai i te hōtaka o Homai Te Pakipaki i te tau kua pahure. Engari, inā kāore anō koe kia mātakitaki i taua hōtaka, i tae a Susan ki te pō whakamutunga o taua whakataetae. Nā tērā, i huaina ngā kūaha o te ao pūoro ki a ia. I ngā marama whai atu, ka pukumahi a Susan kia whakataka i tōna kōpae waiata tuatahi i tēnei tau.

    He tino ngākau nui a Susan Rose ki tōna kāinga a Mill Pā, Te Kapu (Frasertown), ki Te Wairoa. A ka whakaatu ia i tēnei kōingo mō tōna tūrangawaewae ki roto i te waiata Haukāinga. Ahakoa ōna haerenga ki roto i te ao whānui, kei Te Kapu tōnu tōna manawa. Nā kōnā, he tika tōnu tāna kia whakataka i tana kōpae tuatahi me tētahi konohete ki te tāone o te Wairoa.

    Ko Nei Ko Au ­– This is my story te ingoa o te kōpae nei. He wheako whaiaro te āhua o ngā waiata ki runga i tēnei kōpae pūoro. Nā tēnei ka tika tōna tīmatanga me tētahi karakia whakatuwhera, hei whakatau i te hinengaro. Ka whitiwhiti haere ia i ngā reo e rua – arā te reo Māori me te reo Ingarihi.

    Ka kōmitimiti a Susan i ngā momo pūoro e tāngia ki tēnei kōpae, pērā ki te āhua bluesy/jazzy o te waiata ‘This is my story’ me te waiata ‘What about our son’ ki te discoey-poppy ‘Mr. Right’, anō hoki te RnB/roots āhua o te waiata ‘Haukāinga’. Heoi, nā te kaha o te hiere o te reo o tēnei wāhine māia, he tino mahana te āhua o tēnei kōpae. Ka rongo hoki te māia, te aroha hoki, i roto i ōna waiata.

    Ko tētahi o ngā mea tino pōuri o te kōpae nei ko te waiata o Goodbye. He waiata tangi tēnei ki tōna Pāpā i mate tūkino i te wā he kōtiro tōnu a Susan. Ka waiata ia mō tōna mamae me te mamae o tōna whaea me tōna whānau anō hoki.

    Ki ahau nei, ko ngā waiata autaia o tēnei kōpae, ko This is my story, Mr. Right, Goodbye, anō hoki ko Haukainga. Engari, ko tāku he rawe rawa atu te katoa o tēnei kōpae. Anō hoki, te waiata whakamutunga At Last, he tāruaruatanga o te waiata aroha nā Glen Millar mai i te tau 1941.

    Kaiwaiata: Susan Rose
    Kōpae pūoro: Nei Ko Au—This is my story

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  • This Way of Life

    Film

    Nō ngā tau e whā kua pahure ake nei, kua tū a Peter Karena hei kaitito, kaihautū hoki o te pakipūmeka ‘This Way of Life’, e hāngai pū ki tōna oranga me te oranga o tōna whānau hoki. Me he tangata e mau ana i te mata e pupū nei i te mura o Hollywood, ā, he matatau, koi hoki ki te eke hoiho, ko Peter tēnā. Kāti rā, ka ora ai te toki nei mā te whai i nga uara o te ora me te tika, e ngaro nuitia nei i ēnei ra. Ahakoa no Ūropi te tangata nei, i whāngaitia ia ki tētahi whānau Māori, ā, kua Māori katoatia, i tua atu i tōna kiri. He toki ki te whakawhiti-kōrero ki ngā hoiho, he toki mō te rapu kai, mō te mahi hanga whare, ā, he hoa rangatira, he matua hoki.

    Ahakoa ngā piki me ngā heke, e kore rawa a Peter e mate ā-moa, ā, ko tētahi tino tūāhuatanga kua pokea nei i ōna pokohiwi, ko tōna hononga kua roa nei e noho whati ana, ki te hoa rangatira o tōna whaea, e kore rawa e waihotia nei i a ia.

    Ko te hoa rangatira o Peter, ko Colleen Karena (nō Ngati Maniapoto), te kaipupuri i ngā taonga tuku iho o tōna whānau. Me he hanga e rite nei ki ngā tūpuna whaea rangatira, ko Colleen tērā e whakarite nei i tōna whānau ki te mea nui o tēnei ao, anō hoki, ko tōna tūranga hei Māma tōna mahi tūturu i roto i tēnei ao. Hei ngā wāhanga whakaotinga o te pakipūmeka, ka kite tātou ko tōna tūāhuatanga noho ngū e taupokitia nei tōna manaakitanga ki ōna tamariki, ā, ka kitea ki roto i te oranga ā-tinana, ā-wairua hoki o ōna tamariki. Tokoono ngā tamariki, anō hoki, e rima tekau ngā hōiho kei te whānau nei. Kei ngā pae maunga o Ruahine, kei tētahi ākau huna e mura ai te ahikā o te whānau Karena. Ki kōnei kite ai ngā whēkau o te whānau, tā rātou hononga ki te Wao-Nui-a-Tane hei kaitiaki, me te aroha nui rawa atu i waenga i a rātou.

    Ka pupū ake ngā kare ā-roto i te nui o ngā mahi a te whānau nei, pērā i tō rātou whakapau kaha kia tau te rangimarie i waenga i a Peter rāua ko tōna pāpā; te pāhuatanga o ngā hōiho; me te toronga o tōna hau kāinga te hua noa. Ka whai atu te hunga kaimātakitaki i a rātou nekehanga i tēnei ao hurihuri, i te taiao, i te ngāhere.

    by

  • He Ao Wera

    Film

    I ēnei rā, te āhua nei ko te mea nui e raru ana i a tātou ngā tamariki a Tāne ko tēnei mea e kī ana ko te “Whakamahana o te Ao”. Inaiānei ka tautoko te nuinga o ngā kaipūtaiao te whakaaro nā ngā mahi o te tangata e whakatere ana tēnei wā whakamahana, arā, te climate change. Inā noa nei, kei te āhua pukuriri a Tāwhirimātea – te atua o ngā mea huarere – me te maha, te kaha kino hoki o ngā āwhā e tau nei ki ngā pito o te ao.

    E ai ki ngā kaiwhakarite, a Mike Smith rāua ko Hinekaa Mako, ko te hua o tēnei kiriata, He Ao Wera, hei whai mōhio ngā iwi me ngā hapū huri noa i a Aotearoa mō tēnei take tino nui. Hei arahi hoki i ngā rōpū me pēhea kia whakarite i o rātou hapū/whānau/iwi mō ngā hua o te ‘climate change’. Ko Hinekaa te kaikawe kōrero mō tēnei kiriata. Nāna i tuku atu ngā kōrero katoa i roto i te reo Māori, hāunga i ētahi o ngā kōrero patapātai o ētahi o ngā kaipūtaiao.

    I roto i te kiriata, ka haere ia ki ngā pitopito o Aotearoa hei whakaatu i ngā mahi o ētahi hapū hei whakarite i tā rātou haukāinga mō tēnei Whakamahana. He take nui mō Ngāi Māori mēnā ka whakamahana te moana, arā, ka tere whakarewa ngā awa kōpaka, i te mea ko te nuinga o ngā haukāinga e tau tata nei ki te tai, ki ngā awa hoki. E kī ana te whakataukī: “Ko te wai te oranga o te tangata”.

    Ka rongo tātou mai i ngā tangata whenua o ētahi o ngā haukāinga huri noa i te motu, me pēhea o rātou raruraru, me ngā mahi kua whakarite ētahi rohe hei whakarite mō ngā raruraru ka tae mai nā Te Whakamahana o te Ao. Ko ētahi mahi i roto i tēnei kiriata, he hīkoi atu ki Bridge Pā i te Matau a Māui, ki Parihaka, ki Te Hokianga, ki Te Taitokerau hoki. Ka whakaako hoki mai rātou i ngā raru ka pā i o tātou whanaunga i ngā motu o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa.

    E kī ana ngā kaipūtaiao huarere, ka whakamahana te ao, ā, nā tēnei ka waikawā ngā moana. Nā te kawanga i tino raru mō ngā mātaitai pērā ki te kūtai. Arā, ko te hua o tēnei kiriata hei whakaatu ki ngā whānau, hapū, iwi Māori katoa kia whakarite ai o rātou hau kāinga mō tēnei take. He māmā te rere o ngā kōrero hei whakamārama i ngā take o te climate change mō tātou i Aotearoa. Ki ahau nei, he tino pai ki te mātakitaki, he rawe hoki te waiata pātōtō (rap song) i te mutunga.

    He Ao Wera
    Kaiwhakarite: Mike Smith rāua ko Hinekaa Mako

    by

  • About the Author ()

    Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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