“Ngā Tikanga o te Marae” ; “Ngā Pūtake o te Tikanga”- A Response

Mead states that tikanga Maori is judged, evaluated and assessed by values and principles rather than by adherence to strict rules and regulations (Mead 27). Mead gives examples of a range of values and principles which can be used in assessment of cultural integrity, one of which is mana. Mana comes from “who you are,... Continue Reading →


The Fallacy of Maori Privilege

To be part of the globalized, networked world we live in, Nicholas Mirzoeff proposes that we better engage in terms of visual thinking and activism. Visual activism, he puts forth, is engaging with visual culture to promote and create change - that seeing is not enough, we must act (Mirzoeff 297). An issue within New... Continue Reading →

Visual Activism

Bohemian painter Gottfried Lindauer was well known for his paintings of Maori people. Often using Maori chiefs and chieftesses as his subjects, Lindauer's paintings have a sense of dignity and regality, highlighted through visual elements such as mere (hand held weapon made of treasured greenstone), huia feathers (of the now extinct bird), korowai (embroidered cloak), tā... Continue Reading →

The Origins of Maori Privilege

Michael King states that a defining characteristic of the New Zealander is a “fiercely egalitarian instinct”. Herein lies what Dr. Peter Meihana identifies as part of the reason the idea of Maori privilege prevails in New Zealand. Referring to Peter Gibbons, Meihana states that suggestions of a ‘national identity’ as anything other than an ‘ideological... Continue Reading →

The Reality of Maori Privilege

  At the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, William Hobson, later appointed New Zealand’s first Governor, was recorded to greet each chief saying, “He iwi tahi tatou” – We are one people. When it comes to race relations in New Zealand, however, we appear to be anything but. The anti-separatist campaign, The Hobson’s Pledge,... Continue Reading →

Visual Activism, Janice, and Maori Privilege

Concluding his exploration of what visual culture is, Nicholas Mirzoeff proposes that visual culture has evolved beyond merely looking at the visual to something that requires engagement. He points out that visual culture of the past was used to criticize and counter representation in film, media, and art, whereas the visual culture of today works... Continue Reading →

Linking Cindy

One of my favourite exhibits from the Cindy Sherman show was the Chanel series (2010-2012) which emerged from a commission for POP magazine. In what seems to be typical Sherman fashion - acute observations of social pressures bordering on the absurd - these works subvert our expectations of the glamorous through awkward and slightly ridiculously... Continue Reading →

Reflecting Cindy

I have to admit, when I researched Cindy Sherman's work (and by research I mean quickly flicked through Google search images) I was giving it a bit of a side-eye. Like, really? A grown woman taking selfies of herself in dress up is art? I know I'm terrible. But I've changed now I really have.... Continue Reading →

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