photographed together are Naomi Recollet, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Andrea Johns, and Diane Hill in Hamilton, New Zealand

ImagineNative Film Fest 2018

She:koli! These last weeks was pretty exciting in terms of Indigenous events going on in the city. Imaginenative film festival happened from October 16th to the 22nd at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. I have sporadically gone years before to Imaginenative, but this year made sure to attend to as to see familiar faces but also check out some Indigenous films and entertainment.
Panelists on stage for the discussion after the film screening "marks of mana" at this years ImagineNative film festival
"Marks of Mana" Panel Discussion at ImagineNative Film Festival
I went on the Friday, the 19th, and this day was great because all screenings and showings were free. In the morning show, I went to the collection of showings called “Marks of Mana” dedicated to “a collection of stories honouring the powerful women who hold traditional and generational knowledge and keep it alive through their powerful daily acts.” I particularly enjoyed the screening of the film “Marks of Mana” which showed the tradition of Polynesian tattooing across the pacific islands. In the film there was heavy emphasis on tā moko tradition for Māori in Aotearoa/New Zealand. From my last post, you might have read about how I spent time abroad for the QES experience in Aotearoa. There was a rich cultural exchange when it comes to Indigenous practises, culture and ideologies. In this time I was also able to learn about tā moko from one of the affiliated researchers, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku; she is an emeritus professor based out of University of Waikato. Much of the work she has done in her life has been around Māori women’s movements and activism, but as well the reclamation of wāhine in the practises of tā moko. In “Marks of Mana” Ngahuia was featured in which she discussed her work, and the practises of traditional tattooing and the important roles women played in reclaiming the art. It was a beautiful depiction of Indigenous practises that are still used today and a method for knowledge transmission.
photographed together are Naomi Recollet, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Andrea Johns, and Diane Hill in Hamilton, New Zealand
QES Scholars (Naomi Recollet, Andrea Johns, and Diane Hill) with Ngahuia Te Awekotuku
How it was explained to me, and by various Māori scholars and people, is tā moko is adorned on the body and tells a story about whakapapa, or genealogy. This serves as a way to embody your ancestry. One thing that was really cool while watching the film screenings is being able to reflect and understand but also have a deep appreciation for Māori culture and customs. Having spent so much time abroad in Aotearoa, it was nice to see and know the knowledge being shared on the big screen. I also stayed for the afternoon and saw the collection of shorts "Colliders". This portion was a collection of shorts. I was particularly interested in seeing a short by Judith Kanatahawi Schuyler. Judith is from Oneida, and created a short entitled "ONYOTA'A:KA KHALE TSI'TKALÙ:TO". It was really great to see a fellow community member creating art and imagery from my home community onto the big screen. I am so glad I made time to attend this year, as it was good to see so many films. I can't wait to see what comes out next year! Yaw^ko for reading, Diane

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