WEEK 7:Postcard Series: Framing ‘The Exotic’

Some considerations to think about pacific cultures outlined in (Wendt) and (Hauofa) papers about pacific identity. Some of the main concepts about Pacific identities are identify in western culture and how western culture has impacted of Pacific cultures and identity.  Due to the dominate implications of western culture due to colonization. Pacific culture has been impacted in a huge way thought the education system. Only western ideology was being taught (Wentdt, 15) states ” Colonial education helped reduce many of us into a state of passivity, undermined our confidence and self- reflected, and made many of us ashamed of our cultures”. Not only did western culture suppress other culture, colonial education made them feel ashamed on their own culture. This ideology came from the mindset of western culture brought by European settlers that their way of life and education was superior than others. (Wentdt, 15) ” Formal educations systems … that were established by colonisers… with one common: they were based on the arrogantly mistaken racist assumption that the cultures of the colonisers were superior.” this has a significant impact on pacific child growing up learning conflicting values and ideals, with their culture treated as not important. The reason western culture suppresses Pacific and Maori culture in this way is to ensure western culture benefits form exploiting “exotic” cultures. (Hauofa, 398) ” importance of the security of western interest.” They manipulate different culture to ensure they benefit from it economically and culturally. Take for example the exploration of Pacific cultures in tourism. Romanticising and sexualising culture to apple to the colonial and male dominated gaze. Now people are becoming more aware of the implications western culture has on other and the process of decolonization is happening. but will be a while before all culture become equals.

There was a word that I read in the readings that I had never come across and that was the Polynesian word “aitu”. It refers to ghost or spirits. Often used malevolent, the defines as having or showing evil upon others.

Select examples of contemporary protest art and/or design by an artist, designer, or collective from Aotearoa New Zealand that engage with Mana Wahine, mana motuhake, and/or other aspects of decolonisation. Discuss the historical and contemporary contexts that the work is responding to. Explain how the maker/s engage with mātauranga Māori and/or speak back to New Zealand’s dominant culture


Choose 1 of the questions for assignment 2 and brainstorm
what you already know about the topic from the course so
far and your own prior knowledge, as well as any questions
you might have about the topic.
Include at least 3 images of art/design that you might
address in relation to this (MLA style captions). You will
also need to print these out and bring them to class this

works cited

Hauofa, Epeli. -The ocean in us-. The Contemporary Pacific, 10(2), Fall 391-410. University of Hawaii Press. 1998

Wendt, Albert. -Towards a new Oceania-. in Sharrad, Paul, ed. Readings in Pacific literature. New Literatures Research Centre University of Wollongong, 1993. .pdf


Tuhoe Scored Earth – Final Blog Task

Assiment one picture

The images above are snippets of a Waitangi Tribunal meeting with the people of Tuhoe, regarding the crowns mistreatment towards the Tuhoe tribe. (Temautkutuku, 1) “ The tribunal was considering the right to govern in Te Urewera. Many claimants allege that because Tipuna did not sign the Treaty they did not ceded sovereignty to the crown.”  The crown were responsible for stealing land, burning ground crops and the unnecessary killing of Tuhoe people in 1860. This hearing was to outline Tuhoe’s claims that the crown acted unlawfully, and get justice for the Tuhoe tribe. However, the meeting come under great scrutiny for the way Tuhoe greeted the tribunal. Here are some of the momentous events unpacked from the images above.

There is a man riding horseback waving the Tino Rangatiratanga flag. This flag is known as a Maori flag, it symbolises rejection against the colonisation of New Zealand. It also establishes to the crown that this is Tuhoe’s land. Within the image is rows of cars and bonfires lit along the sides of the road. Tuhoe created this environment to recreate the crowns involvement in burning crops on Tuhoe land. The impact was to ensure that the tribunal understood the implications of crowns actions on Tuhoe people. ( Scoop Independent News, 1)  quote Tami Iti “ We wanted them to feel the heat and smoke, and Tuhoe outrage and disgust at the way we have been treated for 200 years,…(The Crown) destroyed people’s homes and burned their crops and we wanted them to feel like that was yesterday. We wanted to demonstrate to them what it feels like being powerless.” There is also the infamous shoot of Tame Iti shooting the New Zealand flag. This action was to symbolise the anger and frustration of the Tuhoe people towards the crown, the crown being represented in the Union Jack on the New Zealand flag.

This event was significant because this was the first encounter Tuhoe had with the Crown to get justice for their people. It came under scrutiny because the Western world saw this performance as a threat. From a Maori perspective, they have created a “wero” that is defined as a challenge typically seen at a powhiri. ( Higgins,R, & Moorfeild, J., 78) “The wero is a challenge that is delivered by the tangata whenua to the manuhiri to determine the nature of the encounter.” Tuhoe (tangata whenua) wanted to send a message to the tribunal (manuhiri) about giving justice to their ancestors who suffered at the hands of the crown. This extravagant wero was to illustrate the seriousness of this encounter. ( Higgins,R, & Moorfeild, J., 78)” The execution if this processes is considered important in the maintenance of the mana of the tangata whenua.” Mana is very importing concept in Maori culture and must be treated with respect. (Mead, 25) The word is defined by Williams (1957,172).. ‘authorise control, influence, prestige or power’… this power is socially founded upon kinship group, … As a rule, mana must be respected at public events and should enhance the mana of participants.”   As you can see Tuhoe wanted to acknowledge the mana of their people and acknowledge the mana and respect the tribunal have within their culture. This performance determined the serious nature of this encounter, however the intention was meant to deliver to the mana of both parties.

Without understanding the Maori perspective of this challenge/wero, the crown interprets this situation as extremely confuting, threating and disrespectful. In terms of the flag shooting, western culture idealised the colonial perspective of national unity that is represented in the New Zealand flag. They would have interpreted Iti’s shooting as disrespectful to the nation. ( Helu-Thaman, K. , 2- 3 ) states reclaiming indigenous Oceanic perspectives, knowledge, and wisdom that have been devalued or suppressed because they were or are not considered important or worthwhile…it is about valuing alternative ways of thinking about our world.” Because western culture is so dominating they suppress indigenous world views, leading to a miscommunication because of a naïve understanding of Maori culture. Tuhoe’s scorched earth was a visual and impactful challenge to the crown to seek justice for their ancestors.

As for my understanding, my initial reaction towards the actions of Tuhoe were that they acted disrespectfully. However, I now understand Maori perspectives and traditions, and that this wasn’t there intention at all. They wanted to effectively communicate a point and to seek justice. This impact was lost due to different world view from western and Maori culture. In my eyes Tuhoe had the right to confront the crown with a wero delivered in this way. The views formed by westerners demonstrate the importance of ‘walking in other people shoes’ and making sure you understand their perspective as well as your own before you jump to conclusions. The scored earth hearing was the embodiment of miscommunication between two unique cultures.

Works cited

Higgins,R, & Moorfeild, J. Nga Putake o te Tikanga – Underlying Princilbles and Values. Tikanga Maori, Living by Maori Values. Aotearoa: Huia Publishers, 2003. 24-35. Print

 Helu-Thaman, K. (2003). Decolonising Pacific Studies – Indigenous Perspectives, Knowledge, and Wisdom in Higher Education

 Mead, Hirini Moko.”Chapter2: Nga Putake o te Tikanga- Underlying Princilbles and Values. Tikanga Maori: Living by Maori Values. Aotearoa: Huia Publishers, 2003. 24-35. Print

 Scoop Independent News. “The Ruatoki valley blazes as Tuhoe stands tall” Scoop Independent News, 20th Jan 2005 http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0501/S00153.htm

 Te Manutukutuku. “Waitangi Tribunal Newsletter”, Waitangi Tribunal, July 2009, https://www.waitangitribunal.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/WT-63-Te-Manutukutuku.pdf


Response – Take me away

In response to Engles-Swartzpaul and Wikitera’s “Take me away . .. . In
search of original dwelling” this reading is about western culture using Maori and Samoan culture for capital gain. the government would want to display or create resorts inspired by maori and Samoan culture. They would displace and send meeting houses and artwork overseas to be displayed. However this was unethical due to maori and Samoan people wanting there treasures to be returned to home and not used for profit. ( Engles-Swartzpaul &Wikitera’s, 10), Western governments wanted to create ” profit without exploration “.  I don’t think it was the governments intention to disrespect the cultures at hand. They did want to display the unique culture New Zealand has, however they went about it in the wrong way. Displacing or sending away art and house that have significant importance to the people is wrong and using it for capital gain. Again its the level of ignorance towards the cultures at had lead to this situation. There needs to be better respect and communication towards the Maori and Samoan culture.

Featured image -Rosanna Raymond in front of Hinemihi. Photo: Engels-Schwarzpaul 2008


Works sited
Engles-Swartzpaul and Wikitera’s “Take me away . .. . In search of original dwelling” 2010. pp 1- 16

Maori Depictions In European Art

Though out history, many cultures have used art to depict cultures. When the first European sailors and settlers arrived in New Zealand and discovered the Maori people and culture they would often create artworks depicting Maori and the culture. However often these representations of Maori by European artist would be romanticised, glorify and inaccurate depictions. Take for example this painting by R.A Oliver showing Maori women, under a tent.


R.A. OLIVER,  “A Group outside a tent, Pomare’s Pa, Bay of Islands” 360 x 535 mm. N.d

This is a painting of “maori” women standing under a tent. Oliver painted unrealistic depictions of Maori women. To glorify and make these paintings more aesthetic to appeal to a European artistic style. (Bell, 145) these colonial art works are a “mere creation of a pakeha [European] mind.” At fist glance at this painting we see Maori women dressed in traditional cloaks as well as European garments. These painting were created to give others a since of what the Maori culture was like however the images are very westernized and colonized into a European way of life.  This was not traditional dress for Maori women at this time.  They are also depicted in a nontraditional area, the scenery clearly alludes to the presents of European settlers with fabric tents. This picture is that Bell states as ( 144) “ignorance of aspects of Maori culture”, because European artist didn’t truly understand the Maori culture, depictions are very conventionalized. Oliver’s way of illustrating these women is a disrespect toward there Mana. Mana is a level of understanding and respect. By depicting them incorrectly is a disrespect towards the maori culture and the women in this image. His level of ignorance toward the Maori  allowed the artist to romanticized the culture in European style.  This is why it’s important to have a level of understanding toward unknown cultures. to be able to illustrate the culture correctly .

Works Cited 
Bell, Leonard. “The Representation of the Maori by European Artists in New Zealand, ca. 1890-1914”. Art Journal, Vol. 49, No. 2, Depictions of the Dispossessed (Summer, 1990), pp. 142-149
Bell,Leonard. “Colonial Fortunes, The New Zealand Paintings of Commander R.A Oliver” N.d, http://www.art-newzealand.com/Issues21to30/oliver.htm



Know your Tānga & European Settlers

This week I am looking at the significance of early European settlers had on the maori. What I discovered after reading Walkers Tauiwi is the impact of what settlers brought into the country. I discovered that captain James Cook introduced pigs and potatoes that become a staple fro trade in the 1800’s. (Walker 79) “Although Cook introduced the pig and the potato, it was not until others reintroduced the animal after 1800 that it flourished”.  Trade was a big part in establishing colonization with the maori population. Maori tribes benefited from European trade so much that Maori chefs would do anything to secure trading relationships. (Walker  79) ” Maori chefs went to great lengths to cement trading relation ships with Europeans…they were even given land and wives to bind them to the tribe.” The significance of this trading agree meant lead to the ( walker 79) ” first infusion on European genes into the maori population.”

Trading and fishing, Kororāreka
N.N, French sailors with Māori, Kororāreka, 1835, Painting, Teara, https://teara.govt.nz/en/artwork/28549/trading-and-fishing-kororareka

After class reflection

At this weeks lecture we were talking about Tanga. As defined in the Maori dictionary ” A suffix used to make verbs into nouns, sometimes called derived nouns, and the usual ending for verbs that take the passive ending -tia. These nouns usually mean the place or the time of the verb’s action.”  We learnt about three different types of Tanga and how Ati Teepa used them in every day life and with his art and design practices with Te papa. I found it interesting to know how these maori concepts we have been leaning about are implicated into every day life and design practices. I also discovered how I can use these practices in my own life because they can be values and concepts that can be practices by anyone, not just Maori.


  • Iwi tanga – your identity and knowing how you are and where you are from.
  • Whanaga tanga- working collectively, love for the poeple and the land, networking.
  • Kaitaiki tanga – guidianship, looking out for others, looking after yourself, growing and nuturing.


Works cited
Walker, R. 1990, Tauiwi 79-97
N.N, “Tanga, Maori dictionary”, http://maoridictionary.co.nz/search idiom=&phrase=&proverb=&loan=&histLoanWords=&keywords=tanga+

Kaupapa & Mautauranga Maori

Kaupapa and Mautauranga are Maori concepts that are very similar however represent different meanings. Both concepts are not simply defined in English. They are concepts that are interpreted in a wide variety of ways. However today I am going to constructed my understanding of the two meanings.

Kaupapa Maori is the understanding of knowledge that was created by Maori. In Royal’s “Politics and knowledge: kaupapa Māori and mātauranga Māori” (30) is defines Kaupapa as a “particular plan of action created by Maori, expressing Maori aspirations and certain. Maori values and principles. There might be a range of purposes for the action
taking. However, it is generally held that the design of the proposed action is created
by Maori, reflecting Maori aspirations, ideals, values and perspectives.” As stated above Kaupapa maori is about a way of life the maori ways, values and traditions compared to dominate western cultures ways and traditions.

Mantanranga Maori is the body of knowledge. This knowledge gives you understanding in who you are and where you come from. (Royal, 33) states ” “Matauranga Maori” is a modern term for a body of knowledge that was brought to these islands by Polynesian ancestors of present-day”. This knowledge can also link to the concept of mana. Through the understanding of iwi and ancestrial origins  Both these concepts of Kaupapa and Mautauranga are similar in the ideas that are both knowledge based about the Maroi traditions and values. however are different.

These key concepts are also used in the art and design practices for example the Maori Rock Carvings in Mine bay Lake Taupo.
Artwork- Maori carving at lake Taupo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

McLennnan,Chris.  Maori Rock Carvings. N.d, Photography digital.  Great Lake Taupo, http://www.greatlaketaupo.com/things-to-do/must-do/maorirockcarvings/features/
Great Lake Taupo. “The story behind the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings”. Youtube, Uploaded by Great Lake Taupo, Oct 20, 2016,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uIG44dU9eM

These caving were created by four artist lead by a Matahi Brightwell completed in the 1980’s.  In the video Brightwell makes links to the concepts of Kaupapa and Mantauranga within his carving work. Kaupapa is represented in the type of carving he created this work, he wanted to keep a traditional way of carving to honor and respect traditional Maori carving. Matauranga is represented by his understanding his iwi and ancestor. The carving is of his ancestor  Ngatoroirangi on the rock face. Brightwell quotes ” I want people to appreciate our heritage”. The carvings today are a huge attraction in the Taupo community.


Works cited 
Royal, Te Ahukaramu Charles. “Politics and knowledge- Kaupapa Maori and matauranga Maori.” New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies 47.2 (2012)- 30.





Week 1- Maori Practices & Traditions

A powhiri is a ritual welcoming ceremony to induct people into a marae. There are a range of procedure to be completed in the right order to ensure a peaceful welcome is delivered. Here I have created a simple illustration showing the main processes that place at a powhiri. This illustration is informed by the writings of  Higgins & Morrefield (77)  that clearly outline the stages and reasoning behind each stage of a powhiri.


Simpson, Zara. Powhiri illustration, 2017

In response to Mead text (29). This reading outlines social expectations, standard and traditions that are practiced through maori culture. In relation to western culture, there are a range of social and cultural expectations that are expected to practice as individuals in society.  One principle that is outlined and practiced of Whanaungatanga. This principle relates to the concept of whakapapa, however goes beyound respect and support from people and begins in direct relations. Mead ( 28) states “whanaungatanga embraces whakapapa and focuses upon relationships. Individuals expect to be supported by their relative near or distance.” but simply is having respect, support for people and the environment.  Maori culture practices a lot of principles with in the culture, here is a diagram of just some concepts outlined in mead reading, outline the relationship with one another.


As I am from Maori background and a citizen of New Zealand, Its important that i gain an understanding of the maori culture. Therefore I am able to understand a part of my family heritage and respect for the unique culture of New Zealand. Understanding the main principles and concept the the maori culture pride themselves on, gives me a good understanding  and respect of what the culture is all about.

Works Cited 
Higgins,R, & Moorfeild, J. Nga Putake o te Tikanga – Underlying Princilbles and Values. Tikanga Maori : Living by Maori Values. Aotearoa: Huia Publishers, 2003. 24-35. Print
Mead, Hirini Moko.”Chapter2: Nga Putake o te Tikanga- Underlying Princilbles and Values. Tikanga Maori : Living by Maori Values. Aotearoa: Huia Publishers, 2003. 24-35. Print

Fast Fashion Activism- Tearing at the Seams

In modern Western culture fashion has become one of the world’s leading industry’s. We as consumers are constantly buying more materialistic items for a cheap price. Fashion brands and corporations are manufacturing garments so rapidly in today’s market that stores have new stocked garments weekly sometimes multiple times a week. This phenomenon is called fast fashion. Fast fashion is defined as the process of manufacturing fashion trends to get into stores quickly and for as little money as possible. Creating “affordable fashion” that keep up with competitors. I wanted to research how and why fashion brands can create and sell garments at such low cost. Who is really making our clothing?

Today, there is a huge disconnect between consumers and garment makers.  People look at fast fashion brands and think they are getting a good deal. However, consumers are unaware of the implications of their clothing decisions have on garment workers. To be able to keep production prices low many brands manufacture garments overseas in developing countries. Millions of workers are required to work for low wages some as low as 3 dollars a day. They are forced to work extremely long hours, to keep up with consumer demand. In addition working in unsustainable and dangerous working environments that cause thousands of people to lose their life’s. As an example, the 24th of  April 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse. This event killed 1,129 people and injured over 2,500 people (Figure 1). In these conditions, basic human rights are clearly not being meet. All for the sake of cheap clothing. How is this right?

Rana-Plaza fashion

 Clean Clothes. Rana Palza. 2013. Coloured Photograph, https://cleanclothes.org/safety/ranaplaza

These horrific conditions that people are subjective to are all repercussion of the promise of globalisation. Globalization is a concept explained in “The True Cost” documentary a guest speaker, John Hillary he states, “The promise of globalization, that it was going to be a win win, consumers from the rich world, would get cheaper goods … and the people in the poorer parts of the world would get jobs, and those jobs would give them an opportunity to work their way out of poverty”. Clearly fast fashion is a system of globalization gone wrong. Brands and corporations have become driven by profit at any cost. Often high turnover and with very little going back to the people that make the garments. Brands are making millions. Its estimated that the garment industry is a 3 trillion-dollar industry. Brands are manipulating the system, and not meeting basic human rights to make a profit. This social injustice is the issue I want to highlight in this project. I wish to bring to light the realities of fast fashion that consumers aren’t aware about, or chose to ignore.

As you can see there is clearly a problem within the fast fashion industry fuelled by money and ignorance. This has a huge impact on garment workers lives. The issue is so big that it would look impossible to some to even start the steps of creating change for the welfare of people. Visual activism is a modern tool that helps create visual impact and push for social change. Visual activism is a way of communicating social, cultural or political issues visually. This can be through mediums such as graffiti, photography, protest or artwork.  In today’s modern age we are developing different ways of commutation, Mirzoeff states that the internet is the first unified medium (Mirzoeff, 21). Allowing people to be connected wherever they are in the world. Thus, creating a great platform for visual activism and thinking.  Mirzoeff also states in his book with this new form of communication the way we have engaged with issue has changed. (Mirzoeff 290). In terms of fast fashion several activist groups and organisations have used visual activism on this platform to confront workers right.  The social movement called #showyourlable was created by the fashion revolution organisation. To spread the word using visual images on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and twitter that show consumers wearing their clothing inside out to reveal the brand label. This movement was created to get consumers to question these brands about how their garments are made. As you can see this movement gained a huge following and is creating impact on fast fashion brands. That is the impact of visual activism, it can create change. That’s is what I intend on doing with my own creative work.


Show Your Label”. Fashion Revolution, N.D, http://fashionrevolution.org/get-involved/ways-for-everyone-to-get-involved/

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tearing at The Seams, Photograph by Zara Simpson. 07 Jun 2017.

My final work is a mixed media artwork. I made the decision to create a mixed media work so I could incorporate elements like material and thread that are used in fast fashion environments, and allude back to the fashion industry. I wanted this image to be really striking and graphic to ensure the message gets across to my audience. I wanted to communicate this disconnection between consumer and garment workers, and how we turn a blind eye to it. I was inspired by fashion illustrations that are created to show potential designs for production. (Inspiration image) On the left-hand side is a woman in a glamourous red ball gown. I constructed the dress from red material to illustrate the idea that as consumers we have “blood on our hands” but we have blood on our clothes, due to the inhumane conditions the garments are constructed in. The model is also wearing a blind fold stitched from red thread, to illustrate the “blind eye” consumers have when buying these products. They are unknowingly condoning this inhumane treatment. On the right side of this image is a gritty texture, made from collaged receipts, hand painted barcodes and splatters of paint. To show the everyday choices and transaction we make that contribute to the dark side of fashion. This is to contrast with the glamorisation of fashion on the left side, of crisp white perfection. Then we see these garment workers that are exhausted, malnourished and living in poverty. To allude to the millions of workers that are forced to work in these conditions to produce our clothing. The final feature of this work is the torn paper that is stitched in the middle with red thread. This was created to indicate the separation from worker to consumer. Showing that the fast fashion industry is tearing at the seams.

Through this project, I have gained a deeper understanding that my consumer habits have a chain reaction implicated with them. That as a consumer we have a voice. That we can create change. It makes me reflect on my consumption of fashion and how I need to be more vocal about my thoughts on the fast fashion industry to make people more aware and curious about the garments they are buying. Beyond this project, I am wanting to keep my ethical practises up and do my part in creating a better society.


 Works cited 

Clean Clothes. Rana Plaza. 2013. Coloured Photograph, https://cleanclothes.org/safety/ranaplaza

“Has Globalization Been a Success? John Hillary, The True Cost”. YouTube. Uploaded by Untold, 18 April 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiuync–qds

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Introduction” & “Changing The World”. How to See the World, Pelican, 2015, pp. 21, 290

“Show Your Label”. Fashion Revolution, N.D, http://fashionrevolution.org/get-involved/ways-for-everyone-to-get-involved/

Concept devleoment – Creative work

This is just a brainstorm for what to create for my final creative work that highlights the idea of fast fashion.

  • created a social media movement
  • Create graphic prints and tshirts – series of photographs of people supperting the positive movement.
  • fast fashion fast food photoshoot. / poster
  • consumtion waste pile photoshot
  • Drawing/ artwork

For my topic I am looking at the implications of fast fashion. The fast fashion industry exploits garment workers to make profit. Brands ignore basic human rights to keep production cost low, therefore allowing them to sell garments cheap. Workers are then forced to work, long hours for low wages in unsafe environments. Through my creative work I wanted to illustrate the disconnection between consumer and factory worker. How we as consumers, don’t know the reality of how our garments are made. Our consumption of fast fashion is allowing this type of treatment to continue.

Concept One 

creatiev work 3

This concept was to create a 100% ethical graphic print tee shirt to create a social movement. The trends of fashion at this time is huge on graphic tees. Some showing political and social views. It quite a huge statement to wear something that shows political views. I think it would be a create concept to create a discussion on the dark side of fast fashion.   However due to time constraints on project i would not to be able to achieve the desired aesthetic in that time.

Concept Two 

creative work 4

This concept I wanted to create a staged photo that contrasted the fast fashion industry with fast food. Creating a message that its bad for you and you don’t really know what you are consuming but you do it anyway.  Fast food connotates with dirty, gross food. and to contrast that with the glorified fashion industry would communicate to my audience do you know what you are buying?

Concept Three – Chosen Concept 

creative work 5

This concept is a mixed media work constructed out of fast fashion garment around the house. I want to show the division between consumer and garments workers. Using thread, materials, receipts and bar codes. To create an images that truly reflect the fast fashion industry.  Considering time frame and concept development. I want to go with this concept. It communicates a range of messages to the viewer and creates more of a political statement.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑