Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘maori’

Exploding the Myths I: 10 things your history teacher never told you

The histories of native peoples are often silenced, relegated to 'pre-history ... My question here is simply this: What are the the little-known histories that disrupt the dominant idea that "if it wasn't for us, you'd still be running around in grass skirts?"

Read more

Frankenstein Science: The Creation of the Warrior Gene

It may seem a stretch linking Shelley's Frankenstein to an exploration of 'the warrior gene' 5 years on, nevertheless the links are clear and unmistakable...

Read more

Occupy Wall Street: The power of words

Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.
~ Toni Morrison

Occupy Wall Street is a fast growing movement...

Read more

The Opiate of Hope

I loved the Shawshank Redemption. Its on my list of all-time favourite movies. There is enough inspiration in its themes of redemption, loyalty, and integrity-in-the face-of-corruption, to satisfy a consummate dreamer like myself through numerous sittings...

Read more

Young, damaged gangsters like child soldiers, says MP

Its a bastard when you're trying to write a post on how media re-presentations of black/brown males draw on, circulate and actually create a vital figure in the public imagination - the angry black man...

Read more

The promise of Mana, truth telling, and the struggle of ideas

The most potent weapon of the oppressor, is the mind of the oppressed
- Steve Biko, Cape Town 1971

Upon reading that veteran activist John Minto has declared his stand for Mana...

Read more

Racism and the media – exploring the said/unsaid

The role of philosophy is not to discover that which is hidden, but to make appear that which we do not perceive because it is so near
- Michel Foucault

Brilliant thinker that Foucault is (and I do particularly like this quote), I think the greatest appeal of these words is that they remind me of the admonishments of our kuia and kaumatua on the marae - it's not what's said you should pay attention to, its what's not said that says the most*. Ironically. Focussing on the hidden, the invisibilised, the unspoken is thus an intense preoccupation for me, and carries over into my wary perusal of the media...

Read more

Incident at Waitangi – on sinking boats…

An old post pulled from my facebook page, that I wrote back in February. It was a letter to the police commissioner, but really - to 'New Zealanders' in general. Tried to get it published in a number of newspapers, but sadly (if unsurprisingly) no takers. I imagine that, similar to LudditeJourno's experience recounted here, the news editors had attitudes akin to this one, from a Dominion Post Editor:

"I’m not terribly interested in the Parihaka festival – unless there is a hard news angle from it i.e. riot/police raids etc."

Replace Parihaka with Waitangi and you get the picture...

Read more

Troubling racism

When racism is the topic at hand, in a public arena anyway, my experience is that people fall into the wallpaper. Or at least respond with a disapproving sniff and stiffened spine. It is a topic that provokes a fair amount of defensiveness and no doubt anxiety, which is a bugger given that what I really want to shift to talking about is, as bell hooks calls it, white supremacist ideology (and patriarchal, and capitalist). Far more useful, and I would say apt - but at this point perhaps a step too far...

Read more

On not-so-flash mob haka… celebration or spectacle?

At the risk of raining on the parade (there's that bearers of discomfort thing again), can't say I'm too inspired by the flash-mob haka that's traveling like lightening around the web. The minute I saw it I knew it was part of the Rugby World Cup buildup, which left me feeling - ambivalent? Māori culture has long been celebrated as 'spectacle' - great when it comes to sporting fracas or official 'lets look multicultural' state events, but disparaged when engaged in as a means of protest...

Read more