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“Whakawhiti” or “exchange” is the basis of all communication. This is doubly important as New Zealand, a post-colonial and substantially immigrant nation, establishes and solidifies its identity as a South Pacific nation.

New Zealand, Aotearoa, is officially a bi-cultural and bi-lingual nation. The full recognition of Maori culture and how and what it contributes to the identity of our our society and the nation, is a subject of ongoing debate and one that interests Meade and Reed. The projects, Purakau/Myths and Legends and Ko Taku Kupu, Ko Tau/My Word is Yours, demonstrate this ongoing exchange between artists, writers and cultures.

Purakau/Myths and Legends
In 2009 Xavier Meade (NZ) and Prof Flor de Lis López Hernández (Cuba) invited twelve artists from Aotearoa, Cuba and Mexico to produce posters in response to the theme of ‘Purakau’ (a Maori term referring to myths, legends and “lessons for life”).
The artists activated a diverse range of indigenous myths and legends: “The Tangler”, “the Disappearance of Matias Perez”, “100% Pure New Zealand”, and others. The stories are deeply embedded in their cultures or origin, but the underlying themes resonate across cultures. The craftsmanship of the posters is exquisite. The Cuban contributors come from a long-standing tradition of handcrafted screen-printing, which has been maintained since the Cuban Revolution. All posters are made in their country of origin, through screen-print and lithographic processes.
This project follows in the footsteps of Xavier’s highly successful “Aotearoa Liberators” project, an exhibition of posters designed by NZ artists and screen-printed at the ICAIC in Havana, that found an audience in New Zealand, Mexico and Cuba.

Ko Taku Kupu, Ko Tau/My Word is Yours was the combined efforts of twelve Te Reo (Maori language) and thirty design students at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, producing a sequence of bi-lingual typographic posters, for a local literary festival, The Press Christchurch Writers’ Festival 2012.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: bicultural, Aotearoa, bilingual, Maori
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NE Print media
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Xavier Meade
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2015 02:27
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 03:30

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