You ripped out my mother tongue
This was originally my reflection of a conversation I had for the first time with my mother, about her journey without Te Reo Māori. I created a photographic series made into a printed zine booklet, it included a link to listen to the audio file to really open yourself up to the story within it.
I had videoed our conversation for the audio only initially, but the video itself was so raw and relatable I knew I had to share it as well. In 2019 it was screened at the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, the Auckland Māori Film Festival and Uniquely Matariki Auckland Festival and was a finalist in the Whanau catergory at Te Taura Whiri Ngā Tohu Reo Māori Awards.
Listen to it loud she deserves to be heard.
Then delve into the photos.
It's purpose is to raise awareness of the intergenerational trauma language loss can cause.
I spoke to my mum about her journey (this is what I made the audio and video from) and then tried to photograph her to show a visual representation of that conversation through my photos all made with no photoshop.
The photos of mum are slightly blurred in camera to represent that part of her that's missing, it's blurred, muted, empty, aching.
My daughter comes in at the end, she clears the fog for my mother, she is the beginning of change.
It's probably the most important piece of mahi I have ever put together in my life, because it's not just her story. It's my nanny's, it's mine, it's my daughter's, it's New Zealand's.
This is OUR country's history, this is OUR country's language, so this is all of OUR responsibility to save it.