By Anna McAllister
Anna McAllister (Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Ngāti Porou) is a 23 year old mana wahine Māori intersectional feminist, currently studying towards her Masters of Fine Arts at Massey University Wellington. Growing up as a self proclaimed white-passing diasporic Māori. Anna has had the pleasure of occupying both pākehā and Māori spaces whilst simultaneously never completely fitting in either. Anna is a poet, performance and installation artist whose work occupies a complex space within Te Ao Māori; interweaving responsibilities to tikanga Māori, mana wāhine, with contemporary ideas of sexuality, modern cultural identities, and social media. This array of interests and the tensions that these may give rise to, promote a perspective that is both timely and culturally aware.
Are you going to be ok? First time seeing seeing that white man. A year after the fact. Taller than I remember. I had shrunk him in my mind to a point were he didn't seem so unkillable. Much more imposing now, towering over me again. Over me again. On top of me again. Press down
on my soul and strangle it to death.
She said her death breath then breathed over us to hide us underneath her pain. She said she doesn’t fuck with white men anymore, said her ancestors wouldn't stop haunting her unless she stopped getting dicked by pākehā fuck boi's.
I have been doing the work over the year. Doing the hard labor to insure survival. Been struggling that’s for sure. Being thriving on instagram tho. Follow me @nope.thank.you.very.much. Slide in my dm’s Daddy. I ain't never had a Māori sugar daddy before, but Matua I am ready. Ravage me with our shared histories. Shower me in gifts of your knowledge. After all you were brought up in it, in Ruatoki of all places. Not me Daddy I am one of those urban Māori , one of those prays to her ancestors in the club bathroom crying in broken reo, Māori . One of those ‘i feel like i’m grasping at straws here’ Māori .
But your like on some Rua Kenana shit right? Your like a deep down, lives and breaths it right? I just wanna breathe you in. Maybe fucking you will make me feel like I finally belong. Maybe fucking you will make me forget that white man and the pain he put over me, and over her, and over Papatūānuku. Maybe not. But Matua, I think we should try.
I wonder if I would have such a daddy complex if colonization had not happened? I wonder if this is some internalized shit? Maybe I should just rub breath one out before I text you, didn't Oprah say that? I feel like that’s something Oprah would tell me to do. I told her this and she said that she wholeheartedly supports my decision to fuck you, or to fuck him up. Maybe I should just rub breath it out before I see you. This is such a small city though so that is going to become an issue.
Let’s try to heal me together. Misguided affection isn't self-sabotage right? Misguided trust for any Māori man who looks like my koro, who I never met so, misguided trust for any Māori man. I trust you to wash away the white stains, they are so hard to get out. I have been trying for years but that shit is potent.
It stains us wahine and when we walk past each other there's a somber nod of recognition. I see you sister, we have seen the same shit that we have been seeing since Hine-nui-te-pō left for the underworld. Then Maui became a white man with a white god. Then he became Ethan, Jack, and Eric for me. Who is he for you? My mum told me: every white man will hurt you, every white man will kill you, every white man will steal your wairua and leave you, then she turned around and gave that white man ‘beautiful’ white passing babies.
Just so you know I don’t wanna have kids, but I can be ur kids hot step mum if that's what you need from me. What exactly do you need from me? I normally know what I want from sugar daddies. I deserve my reparations from those rich old pākehā men. Those captain cook looking motherfuckers. But I think you can give me so much more. Make me feel like the goddess I am without making me feel dirty and exotic. I can be Hine-ahu-one for you, mold me into a women you can love. My body is soft and pliable, just like my mind Matua, let me be your perfect half-cast princess. Mouth open eyes shut tongue out.
Anna says.... "Is writing poetry about someone then inviting them to the reading flirting? I’m a gemini and apparently that explains why I'm so impatient and bored with relationship foreplay. I can't even tell you the amount of times I have said “so we gonna fuck or…?” Sooooo are we gonna fuck or nah? Talk about seeking active consent!"
You can follow Anna on Instagram @nope.thank.you.very.much
How can I help people tell their stories if I can't tell my own? Writer and Musician Ruby Solly talks about Identity, Family, Music Therapy and Poetry, and how Te Ao Māori is the Pathway between them all.
By Tayi Tibble
Ruby Solly is a Ngai Tahu writer and musician. She has played with artists such as The Troubles, Whirimako Black, Ariana Tikao, and is playing on the upcoming ‘Trinity Roots’ tour as a cellist. She was the first cellist to complete a degree in jazz performance at the New Zealand School of Music. Ruby also works with poetry and has been published in journals such as Landfall, Poetry NZ, Starling and Minarets. She is slowly working on her first book of poetry, which explores how culture and Māori identities are nourished and explored through relationships, particularly focusing on the relationships between fathers and children. Ruby is currently completing a thesis on using taonga puoro in music therapy within mental health; the first significant piece of literature to explore the use of indigenous instruments within music therapy. Ruby lives and works as a music therapist, teacher, writer, musician and composer in the heart of Aro Valley.
I met Ruby Solly at last years Regional Maori Writers Hui at Hongoeka Marae. We were instant friends bonding over poetry, our masters degrees and using writing in order to navigate our identities as Māori .
Ruby is an incredible poet. Her poetry is utterly deft and agile. Warm and heartbreaking. We caught up to discuss Ruby's journey with both her writing and her identity; how both inform each other, how both are inseparable.
"I’ve had an interesting relationship with writing over the past few years as in this time I’ve been completing a masters in music therapy, and as a therapist 90% of my day to day life has become confidential," Ruby says. "Initially I felt stunted by this, but then I realised that I just needed to write from what I had internally, rather than externally. As I looked back through the writing I had been doing through the last seven years or so, I noticed themes of whakapapa, family, and identity popping up again and again; with this kind of dark thread weaving through it all. It kind of felt like the writing had been figuring me out, rather than the other way around."
The mahi that we want to accomplish is not optional, we have no planet B - Kahu Kutia selling Prints to get Seven Rangatahi to Poland to Advocate for Indigenous Persepectives on Climate Change.
By Tayi Tibble
Kahu Kutia (Ngāi Tūhoe) is a 21 year old writer, artist and indigenous advocate, raised in Te Urewera, and currently residing in Wellington. Kahu created a series of three prints that practically haka, Mana Wahine and Tino Rangatiratanga.. fitting, because Kahu has been selling these prints in order to raise money to get six rangatahi to COP24 in Poland to advocate for indigenous issues in regards to climate change. We spoke to Kahu about her creative upbringing, her internet influences, and her inherent sense of duty that is driving her incredible mahi. Kahu is currently a contributing writer for Vice NZ.
An isolated upbringing and an engaged and artistic Mother encouraged Kahu to be creative from an early age. “I grew up really rural, and there was no one really to hang out with. My Mum is a Pākehā who bravely married into Tūhoe. She really encouraged me to be creative. She had me draw my entire whakapapa in crayons and watercolour. She is a dabbling writer, and also has beautiful photos that she took as a university student. These two things in particular were really formative on the interests that I myself have taken on.”
Toi Gallery’s latest exhibition Words Remain - Nga Kupu ka mau tonu gathers and promotes a selection of exciting emerging Māori writers from Te Whanganui A Tara. Five poems from five emerging poets have been printed and mounted, black ink onto clear vinyl.
The intention behind Words Remain was to showcase the diversity of Māori Writers among Māori. Each piece on display, is distinctively unique to each writer, and yet ultimately, the exhibition provides an overview of the various viewpoints and styles occurring in contemporary Māori poetry.
The exhibition will run from the 15th October to the 1st of November.
ABOUT THIS SPACE
Toi Māori Aotearoa's blog is purposed to keep you up to date with the latest happenings going on both here at Toi, and across the Māori arts scene in Aotearoa, and abroad.