The voices of Tangata Whenua and Pasifika artists are being raised in protest across New Zealand, as a response to the Tuia Encounters 250 commemorations.
Artists in Otepoti Dunedin are among those contributing to the nationwide Colynesians art project, which aims to give a different viewpoint on the arrival of Captain James Cook and his crew 250 years ago.
With the support of the Dunedin Dream Brokerage, local artists are contributing to an evolving “Tangata Whenua: View From The Shore” exhibition, showcased in vacant shop space at 165 George St until November 30.
The Dunedin iteration of the project, titled D-Colynesians, is being co-ordinated by a team of nine local artists, including Ayesha Green, Piupiu-Maya Turei, Zoe Hikairo Morehu, Teah Paterson, Aniwa Codyre, Vicki Lenihan, Metiria Turei, Cath Cocker, and Sophie Graham.
About 20 artists have been sharing ideas and contributing work to the showcase, including painting, graffiti art, photography, mixed media, and sound installation.
Ayesha Green said the focus of the project was to highlight what it was like to be Maori or Pasifika in Dunedin today, and to share that viewpoint.
“We are excited to be working with Dunedin Dream Brokerage, bringing our stories and liveliness to a forgotten space in the heart of our city,” she said.
Teah Paterson said, as more artists became involved, sharing their response to colonisation, the exhibition would evolve.
“This is a great aspect of the project – the more voices we have, the better,” she said.
The “View from the Shore” title of the exhibition was a nod to Barry Barclay’s seminar cinematic work, The Camera on the Shore, which brought a Maori perspective to reverse the direction of the colonial gaze.
It was hoped to screen this work during the exhibition, and also to host workshops on understanding the Treaty of Waitangi in the space.
Paterson said a music and poetry evening, which aimed to showcase voices which were often silenced, would also be held in the exhibition space, on November 20.
Tangata Whenua: View From The Shore will be open daily, from 1pm to 4pm, and a schedule of events can be found at www.dunedindreambrokerage.nz