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Our Own Image: The Legacies of Maori Filmmaking in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Our Own Image: The Legacies of Maori Filmmaking in Aotearoa/New Zealand
AHRC/University of Leeds Symposium

November 17th 2015
 
On Tuesday 17th November 2015, the ‘Our Own Image’ project will hold the first of two hui, or symposia, on the legacies of the pioneering generation of Maori filmmakers that began making films in the 1970s and 80s. These films, both documentaries and fiction, were the first to present film images of Maori to Maori in terms of their own world views, grounded in Maori experiences, as well as presenting aspects of life in New Zealand to a majority Pakeha culture that was, at that time, often ignorant of the lives of the indigenous population with which it shared a national space. This Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project assesses their many achievements and legacies: continuities of philosophies and methods, public engagement, the diversification of media industries, questions of community and well-being, and more besides.

This project focuses on the legacy of the work of the first generation of Maori filmmakers (specifically three major figures: Barry Barclay, Merata Mita and Don Selwyn) on current indigenous film and media practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand. This legacy is understood to have academic, industry and public dimensions, and both national and international dimensions; it involves not just the development of a film industry but the way a culture speaks to itself and others. The research aims to see how and if contemporary Maori media have been able to build on the legacy left by figures such as Barclay, Mita and Selwyn and how its practitioners position themselves in terms of the core topics that first wave of filmmaking addressed, as well as the aesthetics used to produce these. It also explores the ways in which a wider national audience understands the films made as a living resource and part of a cultural heritage.

Confirmed speakers include: Angela Moewaka Barnes (Massey University, Auckland), Michelle Keown (University of Edinburgh), Stuart Murray (University of Leeds), Karim Nathan (Film/Television Director). There will be a roundtable to end the symposium and it will close with a screening of Barry Barclay’s 1987 film Ngati, as part of the Leeds International Film Festival.

Postgraduate Student Travel Bursaries

Four travel bursaries are available to attend the above event for postgraduate students whose current or proposed research focuses on topics in Postcolonial Studies, Indigenous/Fourth Cinema and Media.

To apply for one of these bursaries, please email ourownimageproject@gmail.com with your name, your institution, the title of your project and a brief description of how it intersects with the themes detailed above (no more than 250 words) by midday on Friday 6th November 2015.