[-empyre-] being pakeha now?

it sometimes seems a double bind - damned as a cultureless settler if you make reference to tangata whenua, hegemonic know-nothing if you don't.

as has been pointed out, speaking position is never simple. I remember at last year's cultural provocation conference listening to Dean Hapeta make some pretty violent and sexist comments, to which i would have liked to respond, but being struck dumb by the context (and probably also the fact that he's a great deal more verbally dextrous than me). and danny, pakeha from queensland (is that an ok description danny?), is the person on ada who is usually most articulate about appropriations and misrepresents of indigenous culture.

as a way of trying to describe a pakeha identity i wanted to talk about place. aotearoa/new zealand was pretty much the last major landmass to be inhabited by humans, and as such, it is possible to reconstruct an image of a landscape before it was framed by culture. of course, that notion in itself - a pre-lapsarian, moa and giant eagle strewn gondwanaland, is an interesting construction. there's a lot of nationalist baggage goes along with representation of our (one hundred per cent pure) natural environment, and with flora and fauna subject to treaty claims, and the foreshore and seabed issue, Maori and Pakeha uses and meanings for the land cut across each other.


maybe it sounds cheezy and off-topic, but the thing that gets me going every time i step out of the terminal at auckland airport is the smell of moss in the air, and the things that i pine for when i'm away (articulating my position as a subject of global capital, or whatever...) is the crazy crinkly shores of Aucklands' harbours and the locating cone of Rangitoto in the background. and the fact that this is my home, that i'm not really happy anywhere else, is one of the things that makes the net appealing - that possibility of staying where you are while being somewhere else.

but what i was really wanting to talk about is the intersection of place and technology in the discourse of environmental restoration. hmm. maybe tomorrow....

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