Noho Mai – McGee – Edmonds – Harris – Pallares – Olsen – Tunui – New Zealand

‘Symbolized in the bird’s flight, a group of Māori, Pākehā and Colombian creatives explore life’s journey, the longing to return to the nest, and the life-giving connection with our ancestors.’

‘Mō koutou e noho tāwhiti ana i te kainga, mō koutou anō te ahi kā.’
(For you who live far from home and for you who keep the home fires burning.)

A collaborative Māori language poetry film created during an online writing and film workshop run by Charles Olsen and Peta-Maria Tunui during the Covid-19 confinement in Spain and Aotearoa, New Zealand, March – July 2020.

The workshop was guided by tikanga Māori (Māori customs). Through a collective process participants shared kupu (words) we associate with childhood. After writing poems inspired by these kupu we created our own short poetry films before working together on a collaborative poetry film based on Peta-Maria’s poem ‘Noho Mai’. We each directed, filmed and edited different stanzas of the poem following a group brainstorming, and these were edited together into the final piece by Charles Olsen along with aerial footage from Ash Robinson and taonga puoro (traditional instruments) from Salvador Brown. To acknowledge everyone’s contribution we present all the workshop participants as Ngā Kaitohu

Peta-Maria Tunui writes to express the beauty and pain of discovering and re-discovering her identity and connection as a proud wahine Māori. She has published poetry in Eat Your Words (2010), performed with In*ter*is*land Collective in the Mana Moana/Mana Wāhine exhibition, and performed collaborative works for Musee du Quai Branley during the Oceania exhibition.

Shania Bailey-Edmonds is of Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Porou, Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Tama tribes. Born in Wellington, she is in her final year in the Acting Course at Te Kura Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. Especially drawn to indigenous work and processes, Shania aspires to create work that commits to telling the stories of her own people and having truth at the heart of all she does.

Jesse Ana Harris grew up in a big family in New Zealand. Since she was little she has loved playing with words – the sounds, the meanings – jumbling them up and making new ones. Currently working as a medical doctor, poetry is one space she feels free.

Waitahi Aniwaniwa McGee is of Maori decent, she whakapapa’s to the iwi (tribes) of Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Āti Awa and Ngāti Tama ki te Tau Ihu. She is a young Artist in her second year at Te Kura Toi Whakaari ō Aotearoa: New Zealand Drama School. She hopes to be a Multi-Media creative in the future.

Lilián Pallares, Colombian writer and actress, received the XIV distinction ‘Poetas de Otros Mundos’ from the Fondo Poético Internacional in 2017. Her passion for folklore, African roots, and her love of the word lead her to create her show, ‘Afrolyrics – a story of love and drums’, which unites poetry, dance, the oral storytelling tradition and world percussion. In 2020 she performed the role of Charito Alarcón in ‘Cecilia Valdés’ in the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid, and together with Charles Olsen, she has received an Arts Residency at the Matadero Madrid Centre for Creative Arts. Her most recent poetry collection is Bestial (2019).

Charles Olsen (New Zealand, 1969) has lived in Spain since 2003. Artist, poet and filmmaker, his short film ‘The dance of the brushes’ won second prize in the Flamenco Short Film Festival, Madrid, 2010, and his paintings have been shown in Madrid, Barcelona, Oporto, Paris, Wellington, and the Saatchi Gallery, London. His latest poetry collection is Antípodas (2016). In 2018 he was awarded the III Antonio Machado Fellowship of Segovia and Soria, and in 2017 the XIII distinction ‘Poetas de Otros Mundos’ by the Fondo Poético Internacional in Spain. Alongside Lilián Pallares he runs the audiovisual production company antenablue. Their work has been in international poetry film festivals and featured in Moving Poems, Poetry Film Live, and Atticus Review. He has contributed essays to the forthcoming ‘The Poetics of Poetry Film’, Bristol: Intellect Books, S. Tremlett (ed).

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