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?"
Posts tagged ‘maori’
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...