Re: [-empyre-] being pakeha now?


shutting up and being prepared to listen

hmm, my feminist spine tingles when i think of being seen and not heard... but this again is a point of tension - western style feminism vs many other kinds.

I recognise Stella's sense of
"place" that is integral to being "home". It is an affective response, not a
critical one.

well, isn't that ole mind-body dichotomy a famed relic of western scientism?


false oppositions and tensions are primarily a construction of European ideology

classic settler response to indigenous issues is to use history to try and
think *before* the time of indigenous people, in order to destablilise this
threatening sense of proprietorship indigeneity symbolises, thus myths about
the Moriori being a "previous indigenous culture" colonised by Maori, so hey
we're just continuing the process, what's the problem here!]

ummm, gee danny, do you really think i'm that retro? maybe it's my fault for leaving my main topic till last...

what i was really wanting to talk about is the intersection of
place and technology in the discourse of environmental restoration

when i'm talking about recent inhabitance i'm really talking geological, rather than anthropological time. most accounts say that maori arrived here a thousand years ago. that's a really long time, but when i think about aboriginal people's being in australia 40 thousand years, i recognise that there's been more possibility for co-evolution - i guess i'm thinking of things like firestick farming. I'm also thinking about how our experiences of the land differ from europe where agriculture and human impacts have been shaping the continent since before the ice age.

I recognise that this too partakes of a scientific discourse, but I find the idea of a land without people really fascinating, and yes, politically loaded. i think about it a lot because i am involved in habitat restoration around the areas of the city where i have lived - planting, clearing of invasive weeds. doing this in a way that encourages native species requires access to research (carried out by groups such as the department of conservation and auckland regional authority). it also gives me a way of learning about maori uses and knowledge of plants, a learning that i don't think is expropriation. by naming my mountain (latterly maungawhau, now rangitoto) i was attempting to describe myself as an urbanised aucklander, with not that much access to marae culture. for me this ecological activity, which is highly mediated and technological in many aspects, gives me a way of trying to understand both indigenous ideas about the land, and the land itself, which came before people, and will exist long after.

On 1/22/05 12:08 AM, "Stella Brennan" <> wrote:

it sometimes seems a double bind - damned as a cultureless settler if
you make reference to tangata whenua, hegemonic know-nothing if you

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.

hmm. maybe tomorrow.... best stella

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