Te whatu o poutini: a visual art exploration of new media storytelling
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This visual art project has explored the ancient Maori pukorero (oral tradition) of Te Whatu o Poutini (The Eye of Poutini) that articulates the journey of Poutini Taniwha, Waitaiki and Tamaahua from Tuhua (Mayor Island) in the Bay of Plenty, to the Arahura River. An oral geological map, the pukorero also expresses through cultural values, the intimate spiritual relationship Ngati Waewae have with our tupuna, the Arahura River, pounamu stone and each other. Exploring the genres of digital storytelling and video art installation, this project combines them as new media storytelling. The current experience of colonisation and urbanisation emotionally parallel the abduction, transformation and multiple places of belonging experienced by the tupuna Waitaiki at the hand of Poutini Taniwha. The project explores and acknowledges this connection. The survival, restoration and celebration of Ngati Waewae culture and the need to assert control of our own destinies has infused every component of the project.